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Technology / Hardware

Google’s Nest open sources Thread in IoT innovation drive

Nest Labs, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has released OpenThread, an open source implementation solution of the Thread networking protocol it has developed for its own products, in a move designed to broaden adoption of the technology.

OpenThread will allow the technology used in Nest products to be used more broadly in order to accelerate the development of products for connected homes.

Nest Platform and Works head at Nest Greg Hu said: "Thread makes it possible for devices to simply, securely, and reliably connect to each other and to the cloud.

"And because Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices on the market can be easily updated to run Thread.

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"OpenThread will significantly accelerate the deployment of Thread in these devices, establishing Thread as one of the key networking technology standards for connected products in the home."

The initial version of OpenThread is available on GitHub. Users can access sample code, file issues on GitHub, and seek support on Stack Overflow as well as Nest’s discussion forum.

Available for free under a BSD license, OpenThread allows users to connect products in and around the home to low-power, wireless mesh networks.

The Thread protocol is being used by Nest in its products and Google in its router OnHub. However, the Thread Group has to certify the products and the manufacturers have to sign up as members.

The company will offer a demo of OpenThread at Google I/O conference from 18 May to 20 May.

The development of OpenThread is being supported by ARM, Atmel, Dialog Semiconductor, Qualcomm Technologies and Texas Instruments.

Besides, OpenThread can run on Thread-capable radios and corresponding development kits provided by other players like NXP Semiconductors and Silicon Labs.

Qualcomm business development vice president Jeffery Torrance said: "Nest products set the bar for how connected devices should work so it’s exciting that Nest is releasing OpenThread to the open-source community.

"As a company with a longstanding history of actively supporting and contributing to open technologies, OpenThread allows us to work with other like-minded corporations and individuals to deliver a best-in-class implementation of Thread that can be widely used for the advancement of a connected and secure home."

Thread is backed by companies including ARM, Big Ass Solutions, Nest Labs, NXP Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, Tyco and Yale Security.

Launched in October 2014, the Thread Group has now over 230 members, with over 30 products awaiting its certification.

Nest’s rivals in the IoT markets such as the Allseen Alliance and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) have already rolled out their protocol. The two companies have been slowing gaining users, as more IoT products hit the market, the Register reported.

In January, Gartner predicted that the IoT would feature in more than half of new business processes and systems by 2020.

By 2020, Gartner projected that the companies to allocate 20% of their annual security budgets to address compromises in their IoT environments, up from less than 1% last year.

The research firm estimates that as the use of IoT devices increases, the requirements of IoT architecture, design and implementation over multiple industry segments and scenarios will also grow.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.