As the connectivity of devices over the Internet becomes more commonplace, the need for a universal standard to support that connection becomes greater.
This summer, seven major tech companies joined forces to form a protocol for connecting low-power devices over the Internet. Referred to as the Internet of Things, this connectivity is expanding as various devices are introduced. The new protocol will make expansion more uniform and less problematic.
The seven companies are ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Labs and Yale Security. Together, they formed the Thread Group, which is developing an Internet protocol (IP)-based wireless networking product called “Thread.”
Various devices already exist with functioning IP-based wireless networking connectivity. However, they were introduced before the Internet of Things became popular, and they face limitations in their ability to connect with other devices. Thread protocol is intended to overcome those limitations and hasten the evolution of the still nascent Internet of Things.
Devices include the Nest learning thermostat, which can be monitored remotely using a smartphone or computer, and Big Ass Fans ceiling fans, which can interoperate with the Nest.
Thread is designed to help these and other devices connect and operate reliably and efficiently in the new IPv6 environment, using low-power, 802.145.4, mesh networks.
Some highlights of Thread will be reliable and secure networks that scale to hundreds of devices with no single point of failure. Networks will also feature secure, banking-class encryption. Thread devices are simple to install, access and control from anywhere with a smartphone, tablet or computer. Finally, Thread supports battery-operated devices, eliminating the need for frequent charging or battery replacements.