Thread has been developed by Nest Labs for its smart thermostat, and the group includes Google, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans, and ARM.
Thread is designed with a new security architecture that allows consumers to add and remove products to the network via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Thread products will be tested to ensure that they work together effortlessly and securely right out of the box -- with a Thread logo to show they have been certified for quality, security, and interoperability.
Hegenderfer points out Bluetooth has been doing this already:
Device interoperability just isn't an issue. Bluetooth has an effective range of up to 100 meters, and Bluetooth 4.1, introduced in December last year, added a means to create a dedicated channel, which laid the foundations for IPv6 connectivity. Bluetooth Smart mesh is already possible, and we're working to make it a reality under the Bluetooth standard. If you want to speak to a few things, you can use a niche technology, if you want to speak to a few billion things in an ultra-power efficient way, then Bluetooth Smart is the way.
UK-based chip designer CSR has developed its own mesh protocol that sits on top of Bluetooth 4.0 that it is releasing as an open standard. Rick Walker, marketing manager for IoT at CSR, tells us:
With the CSRmesh technology CSR has demonstrated that Bluetooth Smart can form the basis of mesh networks that can collect data from and control thousands of devices. The wide adoption of Bluetooth Smart in tablets and smartphones enables rapid adoption and a simple personal user experience for consumers. Technically, the CSRmesh uses a flood approach that simplifies the user experience so that the consumer can just switch on the device and needs no understanding of the networking roles that are required in a routed mesh approach, and CSRmesh uses the smartphone or tablet for direct control and doesn't require a specific bridge hardware to be used to interact with Internet of Things devices.
CSRmesh doesn't offer full IP addressing but adopts a light-weight data structure, which enables much lower power and a lower processing burden for simple devices. It has already been adopted for lighting solutions, and will be extended later in the year to further Smart Home devices. CSR is in the process of opening the specification to additional partners so that it can be widely adopted in IoT products, says Walker.
— Nick Flaherty writes for EE Times Europe.