DotDot – A Universal Language for IOT by ZigBee

One of the biggest hurdles facing the spread of IoT technology is the lack of interoperability between devices from different vendors. To create a fully integrated IoT device network, we are forced to purchase equipment from a single source, that is, the same vendor instead of choosing an array of devices from any vendor ideal for the needs. 

To address the problem described above, the ZigBee Alliance announced the DotDot, a universal language for IoT environment, making possible for smart devices to communicate with each other on any network. The President and CEO of ZigBee Alliance Tobin Richardson had this to say “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. 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.”

Let’s look at the problem in more detail facing the IoT environment. The wireless connectivity layer for IoT devices differs from vendor to vendor. That makes it impossible for devices from different vendors to talk to each other even if they are on the same network or wireless technology such as IPv6, Bluetooth, Wireless, etc. Currently, the devices using different wireless connectivity layer can only talk to each other through a cloud platform which would require a lot of resources to develop and deploy. Thus, hardly anyone would go forward with it and will instead stick to a single vendor devices using same connectivity layer. When we are forced to make choices based on minimizing the associated development cost and time rather than working towards a more perfect solution, the result is more of often than not a let-down. But economics can’t be ignored in a real world and the right solution to address the problem would allow devices from multiple vendors to talk to each other without the problems associated with the current framework.

Protocol Stack for dotdot. (Courtsey:
Now we will dive deeper into DotDot technology and how it would work. DotDot envisions a future of development environment where single application language would be applicable to multiple types of network. As can be seen from the image above, the network stack may differ but implementing DotDot would allow them to communicate with each other. Since ZigBee and Thread (belongs to Google) network stack are both based on IPv6 technologies, the DotDot protocol can be easily implemented on them. Going forward, other wireless networking technologies such Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, etc. and even wired technologies such as Ethernet could be integrated to allow development on those network stacks. To sum things up, DotDot is the utilization of ZigBee application objects and data models irrespective of the network.

DotDot is a great first step to expedite the spread of IoT devices. But more needs to be done. ZigBee is not alone in trying to have a universal language. Others such as IOTivity from OCF (Open Connectivity Foundation) are striving to do the same. ZigBee is leading the pack as it already has an existing user base and is the first one of the starting line. But it promises to be a tough race with more players looking to join the fray in next few years. Only time will tell as to who ends up on the top.

Here’s a brief video on the DotDot:

Information Source:

Author : Abhishek Goyanka

Abhishek is currently working as an Engineer in the field of IoT and Embedded Systems. He received his Master's degree from Purdue University and Bachelor's degree from VIT University. He is budding entrepreneur and hopes to start his own venture in field of IoT. In his free time, he enjoys reading about technology, history, geopolitics and world affairs.