Samsung, Nest and co launch Thread for better home automation

Samsung, Nest and five other companies have joined together to launch Thread, a brand new wireless networking protocol for better home automation.

Thread’s seven founding members are all big industry names – Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung, Nest Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans and ARM – and the aim is to make it easier to connect home automation devices from multiple manufacturers.

“Recognising the need for a new and better way to connect products in the home, seven companies today announced that they’ve joined forces to form the Thread Group and develop Thread, a new IP-based wireless networking protocol,” explained the Thread statement.

Thread will enable consumers to securely connect more than 250 devices into a low-power network that will also offer direct internet and cloud access for all that kit.

The new wireless protocol is an IPv6 networking protocol that is specially designed for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks, which is something that is already used for Nest products.

“Existing wireless networking approaches were introduced long before the Internet of Things gained ground,” said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist, Google, and advisor to the Thread Group. “The Thread protocol takes existing technologies and combines the best parts of each to provide a better way to connect products in the home.”

The idea is to make home automation a lot easier, as Thread will let you install devices using a smartphone, tablet or laptop and then all of them can be connected together for control and access from your phone or other device remotely.

Apple is also working on a similar solution in conjunction with Qualcomm. It’s not clear whether the two will be cross compatible, so it could be that you’re still facing the iOS vs Android battle for your home devices too.

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