Zigbee Alliance announces the ‘All Hubs Initiative’
The Zigbee Alliance has announced the All Hubs Initiative, a working group of leading IoT companies who will look at making smart home and IoT products easier to develop, deploy and sell across ecosystems.
Companies in the alliance include: Amazon, Comcast, Exegin, Kwikset, Landis+Gyr, LEEDARSON, Legrand, MMB Networks, NXP, OSRAM, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy and others. Their collective goal is to improve interoperability between IoT devices and major consumer and commercial platforms.
As a result of this collaboration, a set of features at the application and network layers of Zigbee will be incorporated in the upcoming 3.1 version of Zigbee technology. It is expected that 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.
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.”
While the IoT and smart home ecosystems are open, innovative systems, this sometimes causes problems for device vendors trying to build and market products that meet the requirements of different ecosystems and earn their coveted ‘Works With’ badges.
Zigbee Alliance president and CEO Tobin Richardson says vendors need to ensure their products can adapt to diverse and evolving requirements of multiple ecosystems and reliably work across major IoT hubs.
“The All Hubs Initiative is not just an important effort in strengthening interoperability but a phenomenal example of how global industry leaders and innovators come together within the Zigbee Alliance to share best practices and solve industry-wide challenges.”
The All Hubs Initiative is not a specific version of Zigbee technology, but rather a list of features that will contribute to the core Zigbee roadmap. More specifically, they are a set of updates to the Zigbee specification at both the application and network layers that maintain the flexibility of Zigbee to meet diverse market needs, while improving interoperability.
The project was envisioned in Autumn 2017 at the first Hive Executive IoT Summit organised by the Zigbee Alliance.