dotdot by Zigbee Alliance, The New Universal Language of the Internet of Things

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By Megan Bozman

“There’s something you should know. You’re toaster has a burning desire to talk to your espresso machine. But something doesn’t translate. They need dotdot, the universal language for smart things everywhere.” The below new video from Zigbee Alliance continues to describe how dotdot will “transform the way we play, work, and live,” using ‘dotdot’ as both noun and verb.

Unveiled by the zigbee alliance last week at CES 2017, dotdot makes it possible for smart objects to work together, and gives product developers the freedom to choose the network that works for their application, including on zigbee, IP, and other networks. At CES 2017, numerous companies showcased early demonstrations of dotdot products.

dotdot = Flexibility and Speed to Market

According to the dotdot website, “dotdot offers developers more flexibility and speed in getting to market than other IoT languages still being drafted, and gives users more freedom than single-vendor ecosystems that lock them in.”

dotdot enables the open, mature, and widely supported IoT language at the heart of zigbee, to work across many networking technologies, unlocking new markets for members, and unifying the fragmented IoT.

The fact that many IoT devices don’t speak the same language or don’t use the same “application layer” results in, “a patchwork of translations done in the cloud, adding complexity and reducing reliability for users. Worse, the challenge and resource investment required by platform and app developers to maintain a growing set of unique interfaces to each vendor’s products, limits the scale and innovation potential of the IoT.”

Zigbee alliance spokesman Daniel Moneta told The Register. “It’s the evolution of the most mature, widely deployed and well-supported application layer on the market. We’ve been doing this for 10 or 15 years – you learn a lot about it in that time. The greater IoT needs this universal language.”

Is dotdot Secure?

Considering the authors of the recent drone-enabled hack of Philips Hue lights stated, “The main problem is in the insecure design of the ZLL standard itself,” one can’t help but worry about the implications of dotdot becoming the universal language for smart things. Zigbee already powers more than 100 million smart devices already in homes and businesses. Perhaps, as the hack authors recommend, greater participation can contribute to stronger security.

:|| <-- Ground-Breaking Brand and Mark

According to the dotdot website, the dotdot brand, “breaks technological ground itself. It may be the first logo that can be easily drawn in CSS code, and texted as an emoji. The universal accessibility of the mark is fitting for a technology that frees users of locked-in ecosystems, and makes the IoT work for everyone.”

While I often find “branding” to be a marketing exercise of inflated importance, I have to admit the Zigbee Alliance makes excellent points here. It is a thoughtful and creative mark.

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