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Consumer IoT platform Thread unveiled, Qualcomm joins

Thread Applications

Thread, an IP-based wireless protocol designed for consumer IoT in the home, has been unveiled, with the organisation also confirming Qualcomm Technologies as a member of its board of directors.

The IoT protocol, according to Thread, is designed for consumers and devices in and around the home, and extends domestic M2M connections into the cloud using IP in a low-power mesh network. Having announced its formation in late 2014, Thread now comprises of more than 160 member companies. Qualcomm has also been appointed to the group’s board of directors, where it will be more heavily involved in the development of Thread-compatible products, as well as the protocol itself.

Considering it’s only been operational for just over nine months, the progress being made within the wider Thread group shows the rate of development within the wider IoT industry in general; a sentiment agreed with by Chris Boross, Thread Group’s president.

“In the nine months since opening membership, more than 160 companies have joined the Thread Group, and now the group is launching the Thread technical specification, which has now completed extensive interoperability testing,” he said. “Today’s announcement means that Thread products are on the way and will be in customers’ hands very shortly. I’m excited to see what kinda of products and experiences Thread developers will build.”

With Qualcomm joining the board of directors, it also shows how large and influential tech firms are hedging their bets on the development of IoT, by also contributing to the AllSeen Alliance, another IoT platform development forum. Raj Talluri, Qualcomm’s SVP of product management reckons the work being done at Thread will help further IoT development.

“When it comes to easily and securely connecting the smart home, the work of industry alliances like the Thread Group are essential,” he said. “Collaborating with the Thread Group allows for the integration of this technology into the world’s leading brands of household appliances, and to thereby speed innovation and market transformation.”

Thread coming to the fore serves to illustrate how progress in various aspects of IoT connectivity is accelerating. There’s a plethora of platforms all addressing separate networking considerations, from Sigfox and its cellular IoT platform, to the Wireless IoT Forum deploying low-powered wide area networks for city-wide M2M connectivity. If the variety of industry stakeholders involved are indeed intent on open collaboration and cooperation to ensure the more altruistic progression of IoT; then sooner or later one would assume a level of convergence of said platforms is inevitable.


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