IoT Groups Thread, ZigBee to Partner on Home Connectivity
The partnership, in which the ZigBee Cluster Library will run on Thread networks, is another step toward streamlining a crowded IoT standards space.The Thread Group and ZigBee Alliance are working together to enable ZigBee's application layer protocols to run over Thread-based networks, a move that marks the latest step in streamlining a highly fragmented Internet of things market. The two groups are among more than a half dozen that are working on various aspects of interoperability standards for the Internet of things (IoT). As the number of systems, devices and sensors that make up the IoT grows—Cisco Systems officials have said that by 2020, more than 50 billion things will make up the IoT—interoperability between them will be increasingly important to allow them to connect to the Internet and each other. However, the rise of multiple standards groups in the industry risks fragmentation that could make interoperability more difficult. After the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) launched in July 2014, Liat Ben-Zur, who chairs the AllSeen Alliance, another standards group, told eWEEK that while the new organization affirmed AllSeen's belief in the need for broad interoperability between the various connected devices and systems, the "Internet of things need to have one … standard that spans across all of these. … At the end of the day, fragmentation only hurts all of us."
In February, the OIC and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced they would work together more closely, with heads of both groups saying their work complements each other and that the strategic liaison agreement will enable them to share information, which will help streamline IoT standards efforts.