Zigbee Gets a Step Up on Smart Home Interoperability

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Zigbee Gets a Step Up on Smart Home Interoperability

The Zigbee Alliance recently announced an initiative to make smart home and IoT products easier to develop, deploy, and sell across ecosystems. The “All Hubs Initiative” hopes to give Zigbee lead in smart home interoperability.

The initiative is driven by a Zigbee Alliance workgroup comprised of leading IoT companies including Amazon, Comcast, Exegin, Kwikset, Landis+Gyr, LEEDARSON, Legrand, MMB Networks, NXP, OSRAM, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, and many others with the goal of improving interoperability between IoT devices and major consumer and commercial platforms.

Smart Home Interoperability

The product of this effort is a set of features at the application and network layers of Zigbee that will be incorporated into the upcoming 3.1 version of Zigbee technology. While Zigbee Alliance members are able to participate in this workgroup and contribute to and access these evolving specifications, the Alliance is publicly announcing this initiative today as a number of smart home systems will add these features to their platform certification requirements ahead of the ratification of the full 3.1 feature set to more immediately take advantage of these enhancements.
Zigbee 3.1 will be backwards compatible with Zigbee 3.0 certified devices and hubs. Some ecosystems however are participating in “early implementations” of the All Hubs Initiative’s features and may request device vendors support these features as part of their “Works With” programs, ahead of the formal launch of Zigbee 3.1.
Amazon principal engineer Chris DeCenzo, who also chairs the All Hubs Initiative workgroup and is a board member of the Zigbee Alliance, says consumers and businesses want connected devices that offer value and convenience, working properly and seamlessly with each other.

Through the All Hubs Initiative, leading IoT companies in the Zigbee Alliance are working together to define interoperability standards to help device makers innovate and expand selection while continuing to deliver consistent, reliable experiences for customers.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Zigbee Alliance

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