Earlier this week, Thread Group announced its intention to expand Thread beyond the connected home and into the commercial building and professional sectors. The group, established in 2014, will continue its efforts to drive adoption of the Thread wireless networking specification — leveraging this technology for the commercial building and professional sectors by adding extensions to the existing specification. The new extensions will address use cases such as enterprise security and commissioning options, and enabling and managing large Thread subnets. These updates will be beneficial to a range of commercial building professionals including installers, network engineers, application commissioners and end-users operating system components.
Thread Group was formed to develop an IP-based reliable, low-power, secure and scalable mesh networking solution to be the foundation upon which any application layer can run. Thread is designed to enable IoT devices to connect more easily to the internet and each other. The IPv6 networking protocol is built on open standards for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks that can securely connect hundreds of devices to each other and directly to the cloud.
The Thread 1.0 protocol specification was shared with members of The Thread Group in July 2015. The Thread Group’s beta certification program was launched in November 2015.
The group initially focused its efforts on the connected home, and — with the successful release of the Thread 1.1 specification — numerous members and other alliances have expressed interest in deploying Thread into adjacent markets. With this expansion, the group will continue its focus on low power mesh-IP solutions, broadening its scope to enable to new use cases both inside the home and beyond.
“This is a natural step in the evolution of the Thread networking protocol, and we’re excited that industry interest in building a Thread solution for the commercial building domain has been so strong,” said Grant Erickson, president of the Thread Group and principal engineer at Nest. “This expansion will enable members to build Thread-enabled solutions that will serve a variety of use cases, not just inside the connected home but also beyond, into the commercial and professional sectors.”
The Thread Group’s member roster includes a number of companies that focus on the commercial building and professional sectors, including Big Ass Solutions, Schneider Electric, OSRAM, Crestron, Siemens, EBV, and Philips Lighting. Many of these companies have committed to sharing their IP and engineering resources in order to bring the Thread solution to market for commercial buildings. View full member list here.
Many of these companies have committed to sharing their IP and engineering resources in order to bring the Thread solution to market for commercial buildings.
“OSRAM joined the Thread Group at the sponsor level because we believe in the technology’s potential for both the connected home and commercial building markets, and we’re very pleased to assist with the expansion of the Thread protocol for the professional market,” said Arnulf Rupp, Senior Director at OSRAM. “Thread boasts numerous technical advantages over other networking solutions in the market, and we see the profound impact that this technology can have on the commercial building and professional sectors.”
To offer engineers and developers as much flexibility as possible, the Thread Group has committed to complete backwards compatibility in its commercial solution. This will address the extended and more in-depth design and development of commercial buildings.