Thread

http://www.threadgroup.org/ Thread was designed with one goal in mind: to create the very best way to connect and control products in the home. Built on open standards and IPv6/6LoWPAN protocols, Thread's approach to wireless networking offers secure and reliable mesh network with no single point of failure, simple connectivity and low power. All Thread networks are easy to set up and secured using encryption.

Note that Thread simply coveres the wireless connectivity and transport between Thread compatible devices. It doesn't provide the control, intelligence or context requried to deliver a real smart home. It also doesn't cover the gateway required to interoperate with wired smart home solutions.

This technology will be the subject of an evaluation project in the near future.

Thread Is Not ...

Thread is not the answer to the smart home. It is just one component and most likely just one wireless networkign technology used in the smart home.

  • Thread is claimed to support 'scalable to 200-300 devices in a home' but, the actual limit on number of nodes is not clear. We currently have 171 connected sensors and devices in our smart home and 90+ IP-networked devices, yet we have barely started on our smart home.
  • Is 'intended for control and automation (250kbps)' but many smart home devices and applications require much higher bandwidths than this, so Thread can only ever be part of the solution. Ifthis is true then it makes sense for the intelligence to be outside the Thread network and not within it.
  • Thread supports 'low latency (less than 100 milliseconds)' but, this is not really low latency in our view and this is a best case scenario.
  • Thread defines how data is sent in the network but not how to interpret it. Some kind of intelligent 'controller' is required to intepret ALL the data and make intelligent decisions, ideally based on full smart home context. Because the full context is required, we cannot see this 'controller' being a device that resides on the Thread network, because that means all data would have to traverse across it.
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