To drive widespread adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart homes and commercial buildings, today the Thread Group announced the next evolution of its networking technology. The new Thread 1.2 Networking Protocol delivers performance enhancements that create highly responsive and scalable networks for battery-operated devices — without compromising power, security or end-to-end IP connectivity.
IoT can make people’s lives more convenient, while improving the efficiency, functionality and safety of smart homes and buildings. However, it’s been constrained by fragmented technologies, concerns about security, and limits to the number of devices that can connect to one network.
Thread 1.1 addresses security and power challenges as an IP-based secure and low power networking protocol, and Thread 1.2 delivers further enhancements to power, security and scalability. Thread eliminates wires in homes and buildings for a better user experience, improves security, and can support large networks with thousands of nodes for IoT on a massive scale.
“No one has deployed an IP-based, secure and low-power wireless networking protocol with the same level of scale and functionality as the Thread 1.2 Networking Protocol,” said Grant Erickson, President of the Thread Group. “Not only can Thread 1.2 seamlessly integrate with other IP-based networking technologies, it has far lower power requirements relative to comparable solutions, thus improving the battery life of IoT devices.”
Building on the benefits of the Thread 1.1 networking protocol, Thread 1.2 is fully backward compatible so developers can tap the benefits of an IP-based, secure, reliable and robust network via Thread 1.1 now, then easily migrate to Thread 1.2 when the time is right.
Thread 1.2 adds a series of performance benefits for battery-powered and otherwise-constrained devices including low power gains to extend battery life. Its optional Bluetooth Low Energy Extensions expand IP connectivity and end-to-end security for Bluetooth Low Energy devices, such as smartphones. It also standardizes Thread out-of-band commissioning over Bluetooth and enables devices with only a Bluetooth Low Energy radio to be a native part of a Thread mesh network.
For large-scale applications, Thread 1.2 is also equipped with Commercial Extensions that support enterprise-level security via more sophisticated information technology authentication, authorization and accounting, as well as enterprise device lifecycle management integration. Additionally, organizations can consolidate multiple Thread networks into one large virtual Thread network with thousands of nodes — including predictable, stable addressing and management even as devices migrate within that virtual network — thanks to sitewide IPv6.
“With the Thread 1.2 specification, commercial buildings can be confidently migrated to wireless technology across their multi-vendor IoT deployments,” said Arnulf Rupp, Head of Standardization at OSRAM. “The Thread Group’s membership — which represents all facets and applications of the industry — has worked thoughtfully to bring this spec to-market, and as a result Thread 1.2 is the most scalable and efficient networking technology for low power devices.”
Lutron joins Thread Group Board of Directors
The Thread Group continues to expand its leadership bench with the addition of Lutron to its Board of Directors. Lutron brings more than 25 years of wireless lighting control expertise to the board, and has a strong history of supporting the development of standards-based protocols for lighting control.
“The Thread Group’s commitment to advancing the deployment of wireless communication at scale aligns with Lutron’s core commitment to deliver high-quality products that enhance and improve the overall user experience,” said Pekka Hakkarainen, Vice President of Government and Industry Relations at Lutron.
The Thread 1.2 Networking Protocol spec is currently available to Thread Group members. Learn more by visiting threadgroup.org and get involved by joining the Thread Group.