Thread Group Formed to Create Internet of Things Network

Some of world’s biggest technology companies have come together to form a new alliance to create new tools to facilitate home-centered Internet of Things (IoT) device interoperability. The alliance, called the Thread Group, will primarily focus on creating wireless network protocols to facilitate IoT devices connect with each other seamlessly and without being energy hogs.

The seven founder members include Google’s NestSamsungSilicon Labs and Freescale Semiconductors.

With IoT related devices, and spending by extension, exploding, companies want to get into the bandwagon but are often handicapped by challenges that include lack of standards that can bring together the disparate protocols such as wireless and Bluetooth.

The alliance says that while the existing networking technologies (802.15.4) have their own advantages, they also have major challenges in the IoT era. These include the lack of interoperability, inability to carry the new IPv6 standards and the demand for relatively high power.

To overcome these, the Threat Group members want to create a protocol that will allow users to use their smartphone, tablet and computers to easily add or remove devices.

Another issue the Thread Group wants to resolve is the so-called ‘hub and spoke’ system where if one device fails, the entire network goes down. The alliance plans to create tools that will allow users to add or remove up to 250 devices with top-class security.

Thread officials say they will build on the strengths of the different technologies that currently exist.

Devices that meet the Thread Group Protocol will have their logo stamped.

The Thread Group is not the only consortium seeking to resolve challenges faced by the multitude of protocols and standards. Last year, the AllSeen Alliance was created and notables such as MicrosoftLGQualcommHaier and HTC are members while earlier this month, some of the giants, including Google and Samsung, joined forces to form another group, Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC). Both have the stated goal of creating standards to allow devices talk to each other in the same language.

The Thread Group, on the other hand, has the stated goal of creating a common wireless protocol, not a common platform.

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