SAN RAMON, Calif. — The Thread Group announced that it has opened membership and will begin accepting applications from companies interested in using the Thread protocol in their products. The Thread Group was established in July by seven companies including Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Big Ass Fans, Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Freescale® Semiconductor, and ARM, to develop Thread, a new IP-based wireless mesh networking protocol designed specifically for the home.
“Thread enables products in the home to securely communicate with one another in ways that were not possible before,” said Chris Boross, president, the Thread Group, and technical product manager, Nest Labs. “Thousands of companies have already expressed interest in Thread, and we look forward to seeing how they will use Thread technology to build the next generation of the connected home.”
The organization said Thread was designed to overcome the technical roadblocks that have prevented widespread adoption of the connected home. Thread enables product developers and consumers to easily and securely connect more than 250 devices to a low-power, IP-based wireless mesh network that also includes direct Internet and cloud access for every device.
Using proven standards and IPv6 technology with 6LoWPAN as its foundation, Thread is said to offer a number of advantages over existing wireless standards:
• IP-based technology: Thread is an Internet protocol designed specifically for the Internet of Things. It takes existing technologies and leverages the best parts of each to provide a better way to connect products in the home.
• Reliable networks: Thread offers robust self-healing mesh networks that scale to hundreds of devices with no single point of failure. Devices are ready when people need them.
• Secure networks: Thread networks feature secure, banking-class encryption. Thread closes identified security holes and provides worry-free operation.
• Simple connectivity: Thread devices are simple to install with a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Consumers can securely connect Thread devices in the home to each other and to the cloud for easy control and access from anywhere.
• Low power: Thread supports battery-operated devices as part of a home network. This allows the devices that people use every day — including thermostats, lighting controls, safety, and security products — to be a part of the network without requiring constant charging or frequent battery changes.
According to the organization, millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement — no new hardware is required.
Technical documentation for Thread will be available to member companies in November so that they can begin planning and developing Thread-certified products.
Interested companies can learn more about membership and apply at www.threadgroup.org/join.
For more information, visit www.threadgroup.org.
Publication date: 10/13/2014