IoT and smart home ecosystems can vary in their supported features, business models, value propositions, customer experience expectations, security requirements, and other factors. This is the nature of the openness and innovation of the IoT, and the Zigbee standard was designed to support this flexibility across innovative offerings from Amazon, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, IKEA, and others.
However, this flexibility can sometimes create challenges for device vendors trying to build and market products that meet the requirements of different ecosystems and earn their coveted “Works With” badges – and challenges for businesses and customers using those products across a number of hubs.
“As innovation across the IoT continues to accelerate, device vendors need to ensure their products can adapt to the diverse and evolving requirements of multiple ecosystems, and reliably work across major IoT hubs,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO, Zigbee Alliance. “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.