Thread Group Opens Wireless Networking Protocol

The Thread Group, which formed in July to create a new IP-based wireless mesh networking protocol for the home, has opened its membership and is accepting applications from companies interested in using the protocol in their products.
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The Thread Group, which formed in July to create a new IP-based wireless mesh networking protocol for the home, has opened its membership and is accepting applications from companies interested in using the protocol in their products.

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“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,” said Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and technical product manager for Nest Labs.

According to the Thread Group, Thread was designed to bypass the technical roadblocks that have prevented widespread adoption of the connected home. Thread enables product developers and consumers to 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.

Critics of the protocol contend that Thread could become a closed ecosystem, because it is only a partial standard. Thread defines a 2.4GHz mesh-network radio and communications-level standard, but the technology doesn’t specify an applications layer to carry out commands. The application layer is left up to individual suppliers.

Technical documentation for Thread will be available to member companies in November so that they can begin planning and developing Thread-certified products.

The Thread Group was established by seven organizations, including Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Nest Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, ARM, and Big Ass Fans, a maker of residential and commercial fans. 

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