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July 15, 2014

Home Automation Group Pushing New Standard for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has received a major boost today with the creation of Thread, a new IP-based wireless protocol for devices to communicate on a network.

Run by the Thread Group, the goal of the Thread standard is simply to see the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) realized. IoT is a bid to connect via the Internet appliances, objects, and electronic devices within the home or place of business.

Thread-Group-VertForming the Thread Group are seven home automation specialists: Google-owned Nest Labs, Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans and ARM.

“Existing wireless networking approaches were introduced long before the Internet of Things gained ground,” said Vint Cerf, Google’s vice-president and chief Internet evangelist and advisor to the Thread Group. “The Thread protocol takes existing technologies and combines the best parts of each to provide a better way to connect products in the home.”

Thread is not the first IoT standard to be created, however, it is different in that it is not an application protocol or a connectivity platform made for many different network types. Thread, rather, is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards and made for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks. The technology will enable existing popular application protocols and IoT platforms to run over Thread networks. In fact, it has already been successfully tested with Nest products.

Thread_Applications“Built on well-proven standards, including IEEE 802.15.4, IETF IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, Thread represents a resilient, IP-based solution for the rapidly growing Internet of Things,” said Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director, connectivity, smart homes and smart cities, IHS Technology.

The Thread Group said its protocol offers the following features to developers:

  • Reliable networks: Thread offers strong self-healing mesh networks that scale to hundreds of devices so connected devices are ready when people need them.
  • Secure networks: Thread networks feature secure, banking-class encryption, closing security holes found in other wireless protocols.
  • Simple connectivity: Consumers can securely connect Thread devices in the home both to each other and to the cloud “for easy control and access from anywhere.”
  • Low power: Thread supports battery-operated devices, enabling every day devices such as thermostats, lighting controls, safety and security products to be a part of the network without constant charging or changing of battery being necessary.

“Thread is designed with a new security architecture that allows consumers to simply and securely add and remove products to the network via a Smartphone, tablet or computer,” the group said in a press release. “Thread’s mesh network technology provides improved reliability and coverage anywhere in the home and Thread products will be tested to ensure that they work together effortlessly and securely right out of the box.”

Thos interested joining Thread Group in can review membership benefits and register at http://www.threadgroup.org/Join.aspx .


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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