Google’s Nest Establishes Yet Another IoT Standards Group

The Thread Group, which promotes the eponymous standard, already includes ARM, Samsung and Freescale

Nest, the intelligent home electronics start-up recently acquired by Google, has launched an industry group to promote its Thread wireless communication standard.

The Thread Group is yet another attempt to create a single, convenient set of standards for the Internet of Things (IoT). Its members already include Samsung, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, Silicon Labs and several smaller companies.

Samsung is also a member of the recently established ‘Open Interconnect Consortium‘. The announcement follows repeated warnings that the adoption of IoT technology could be slowed down by too many competing standards.

Time for war

Thread illustrationFounded by former Apple executives Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010, Nest currently develops just two household devices. The Nest Thermostat is full of sensors which can establish the number and location of people in the house, and alter the temperature accordingly. Meanwhile, the Nest Protect smoke detector can tell its owners the exact location of a possible fire. Both use an early iteration of Thread to communicate.

Thread is a relatively new standard, designed for ‘smart’ household appliances that require a connection to the Internet. It relies on wireless mesh networks created using the widely available 802.15.4 radios.

Thread supports IPv6, can connect more than 250 devices in a single household, and will be interoperable with the ZigBee protocol after a software update. It requires little power, while claiming to include advanced security features.

“We wanted to build a technology that uses and combines the best of what’s out there and create a networking protocol that can help the Internet of Things realize its potential for years to come,” states the Thread Group on its website.

The group will certify official Thread products, which will bear the Thread logo (seen above) to help consumers identify them on the market.

The establishment of yet another IoT standards body supported by major manufacturers is seen as a sure sign of the brewing ‘standards war’.

Earlier this month Intel, Samsung, Dell and Broadcom teamed up to create the ‘Open Interconnect Consortium’ which aims to develop a specification, an open source implementation, and a certification program for wirelessly connecting devices.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Cisco, HTC and Symantec support the AllSeen Alliance, which sets out similar goals. Apple, as usual, is developing its own proprietary IoT standard called HomeKit.

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