zigbee's dotdot makes IoT edge devices interoperable with multiple RF connectivity support

May 3, 2017 OpenSystems Media

The zigbee alliance recently introduced dotdot, a universal language for the Internet of Things (IoT) that works on the application layer to enable communication across different networking technologies. It can be seen as an extension of the zigbee Cluster Library (ZCL) specification used to issue commands across zigbee 3.0’s interoperable application layer. In addition to the application layer remaining slim, however, dotdot has also been made compatible with other networks for communication across different mediums, with Thread being the first non-zigbee-qualified network topology for dotdot.

Even though zigbee is best known as an open wireless communications protocol for home IoT products, dotdot is intended for use with any wireless technology. It defines how devices communicate with each other about what they can do, which is important for making different objects around a home do things together. For example, if a bulb is installed in the backyard and one wants it to turn on whenever the back door is opened, the connected lock or sensor in the door will need to know that the bulb is out there and able to receive commands.

dotdot extends zigbee’s reach and provides Thread with a rich application layer. Thread can also be used with other application layers, but if used to communicate with other dotdot devices, then they will use the dotdot application layer. This approach gives product developers the freedom to choose the network that works for their application, and consumers the freedom to choose the brands and products that transform the way they live, work and play.

  • Slim application layer reduces lines of code
  • dotdot is compatible with other networks to allow communication across disparate transports
  • zigbee-based devices will be able to communicate with IP based devices residing on Thread mesh network
  • ZCL remains consistent, any new device type added, it can be used across all networks that dotdot supports

In a recent VOLANSYS case study, multiple wireless and RF connectivity protocols like BLE, Wi-Fi, 3G, NFC, Thread and zigbee were used for communication between different edge devices. This helped the client enhance existing IoT capabilities and implement a complete IoT solution that can control and monitor multiple zigbee-ready devices. Other cases using multiple zigbee clusters including basic, identify, groups, scenes, on/off, on/off switch configuration, level control, ias zone, touchlink commissioning, partition, color control, illuminance measurement, illuminance level sensing, occupancy sensing, power configuration, liquid detection, device temperature configuration, alarms, time, power profile, poll control, shade configuration, temperature measurement, and relative humidity measurement can be found here.

Prima Saraiya is a Sr. Marketing Executive at Volansys Technologies.

Prima Saraiya, Volansys Technologies
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