As the Internet of Things experiences rapid growth over the next several years, unified communication and interoperability amongst IoT devices, systems, sensors, and modules are key for progress. Standards need to be agreed upon in order for the many different IoT "things" to be capable of functioning cooperatively, while also making design of devices easier through unified protocol suites. Luckily, such standards are being defined.
The ZigBee Alliance is a non-profit association of companies creating open, global standards that define the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in consumer, commercial, and industrial applications. After a year's worth of planning, they recently announced confirmation of ZigBee 3.0, building upon and further unifying ZigBee standards which are already prevalent in countless devices on the market.
In the words of Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance:
“Last December we shared our vision for a unifying IoT standard that would make it easier to develop and market interoperable products and solutions, unlock growth opportunities, and fuel innovation to enable surprising new capabilities in the home, workplace and cities. After a year of member testing and development, we now announce a significant step in fulfilling this vision with the ratification of ZigBee 3.0. This – along with finalization of our Common Applications Library – is a major milestone that we believe will help propel the IoT past infancy to mainstream market opportunities that can only be realized with future-proofed products that are easy to build and deploy, and that deliver compelling benefits across many different applications.”
Partnering with EnOcean Alliance, the two groups are planning a joint effort to combine the benefits of EnOcean Equipment Profiles (EEPs), widely used in the sub-one GHz frequency, with the new ZigBee 3.0 solution in the global 2.4 GHz frequency band. The EnOcean Alliance's protocol for sub-1GHz devices specifically makes use of thermal and solar energy to power equipment used in commercial buildings thus making batteries and cables irrelevant.
So, with great progress being made in solidfying protocol standards, hopefully this will mean faster development and deployment in the IoT world. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to post your opinions in the comments section.