Alliance to Showcase Successful Demonstration of ZigBee Certified Products on Thread Networks

The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group, announced that multiple members of both organizations have demonstrated prototypes that run the ZigBee Alliance’s universal language for smart devices on Thread networks. The demonstrations were shown privately at the Thread Group’s Members Meeting in November. They will be shown to the public at CES which is set to take place in January 2017 in Las Vegas. This is a key milestone in their liaison agreement, and highlights accelerating momentum behind an emerging ecosystem of connected products that will interoperate over Thread IP networks using the widely deployed ZigBee language.

Both organizations will showcase CES demonstrations from companies including MMB Networks, Nortek, NXP Semiconductors, Osram, P&G, Resolution Products, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, Yale and Zen Thermostat.

According to Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance - A key strength of the ZigBee Alliance's technologies is their application layer - the only mature, widely deployed, interoperable and open IoT application language. Alliance members from chip suppliers to consumer product manufacturers have worked hard to bring their proven application layer to Thread’s exciting IP mesh networking technology. This creates compelling new value - allowing vendors developing ZigBee solutions today to leverage that investment across multiple networks and markets.

The Thread Group and the ZigBee Alliance have worked to coordinate their roadmaps for specifications, branding guidelines, and test and certification programs for smart products speaking the ZigBee language that run on Thread’s IP-based networks. The Thread 1.1 specification is currently available to members, and the ZigBee Alliance will announce details at CES for their solution that enables their universal application language to run over Thread. This will be followed by completion and launch of their test, certification and branding programs. In addition, the organizations will collaborate to enable concurrent certification to simplify the process for product vendors that want to leverage both technologies.

Already deployed in hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, the ZigBee Alliance’s universal language standardizes application-level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets. The liaison agreement to bring this language to Thread networks is the first step in unlocking its value for driving interoperability throughout the IoT across numerous types of networking layers. Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks, simple connectivity and low power in the home and beyond. Both organizations remain committed to their independence while cooperating to benefit their respective members.

Members of both the Thread Group and ZigBee Alliance enjoy early access to specifications and tools, and have opportunities to participate in and influence standards development and marketing, and take part in technology demonstrations that drive the future of the IoT. Product vendors, developers, and retailers interested in learning more about Thread and ZigBee technologies, and becoming members of each organization, can speak with representatives of the organizations and member companies at CES 2017, January 5 to 8 in Las Vegas.