When Google-owned smart thermostat maker Nest Labs recently acquired Dropcam, it seemed like a clear move toward running the connected home of the future. A newly-announced initiative to link up such devices only underscores that.
Nest Labs, Samsung, and other industry allies today announced Thread, an IP-based protocol for connecting various smart devices around the home in a low-powered mesh network. The Thread Group says it will be more stable and secure than existing options, with no single point of failure allowing one device’s issue to sink the whole network.
Thread is designed to work with an array of home-centric smart items, including appliances, lighting, thermostats, security devices, and much more. Moreover, it’s designed with current open standards and IPv6 tech, and some current devices with IEEE 802.15.4 radios can be updated to work within the network.
According to Thread’s website, the group believes a Wi-Fi network simply isn’t enough for all of the myriad devices being added to the Internet of Things, and that no existing wireless mesh protocols would meet their needs. Unsurprisingly, Nest’s existing products already utilize a version of Thread, and should be ready to play nice rather quickly.
Joining Nest Labs and Samsung in the initial collective are ARM, Silicon Labs, Yale Security, Freescale, and Big Ass Fans, with Thread looking to add additional members in the near future.
Considering Apple’s own impending connected home attempt with HomeKit—and rumours that the company may create some of that compatible hardware itself—it seems this will be another area in which consumers and device makers alike will need to pick sides and choose their allegiances wisely.