CES 2017: Zigbee develops universal language for IoT devices
Zigbee develops universal language for IoT devices
Zigbee develops universal language for IoT devices

CES 2017: Zigbee develops universal language for IoT devices

While smart home gadgets are always advancing, they still tend to be based on isolated ecosystems. The Zigbee Alliance is looking to fix this with its new universal language for IoT devices to talk to each other.

The company, which is best known for its IoT smart home products and wireless protocols, has unveiled Dotdot at CES in Las Vegas this week. And it could change the cards for the Internet of Things (IoT).

It makes it possible for manufacturers and users to get different smart objects to work together on any network, avoiding fragmentation in an industry already worth billions.

Less fragmentation

Dotdot has been built to work with almost all wireless technologies, and it aims to enable swift communication between devices. For instance, they can tell each other what they are and what they do.

This sort of interaction will be crucial over the next few years as IoT devices rise in adoption. Currently, systems can be fragmented, and there can be little cooperation.

A common language in the IoT world is also something that’ll be beneficial to developers. If Dotdot kicks off successfully, it could remove the complexity around creating systems and software for IoT technology.

Related: 400 platforms, 100+ standards and one big fat reality check for IoT

Big for developers

Developers can effectively use Dotdot as a common platform to innovate on, as it gives them the freedom to choose which products and solutions work for them. They’re no longer limited to working on specific devices.

The application layer of Dotdot is also crucial. Unlike other protocols and languages, it can be applied across different systems and is fully open. It benefits from the support of more than 400 global partners.

During CES, the company said it plans to test the language with a variety of smart home technologies, including thermostats, lights, window blinds and sensors.


Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the company, is confident that his firm’s new language will revolutionize the IoT market over the years to come.

“Dotdot represents the next chapter in the Zigbee alliance’s continued commitment to create and evolve open standards for the smart networks in our homes, businesses and neighborhoods,” he said.

“The application layer that is the core language of Zigbee devices has driven significant growth in the IoT.

“Recognizing the opportunity to multiply that growth for members and the industry, market leaders within the alliance have come together to transform it into a universal language for the IoT, making it available to everyone, everywhere, across their network of choice.”

Skip Ashton, VP of software at IoT solutions provider Silicon Labs, said: “Silicon Labs and our customers have succeeded in the IoT because of the scalability of Zigbee’s interoperability technology.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the adoption of Zigbee as developers recognize their investment in the established Zigbee market today will enable them to expand into new markets via Dotdot.”

Related: How the IoT interacts with human language