Thread Group expands to commercial sector
The Thread Group has announced its intention to expand the Thread networking specification beyond the connected home and into the commercial building and professional sectors, to unlock valuable new use cases for its members.
The group will add extensions to the existing specification to address use cases such as enterprise security and commissioning options, and enabling and managing large Thread subnets. These updates will be beneficial to a range of commercial building professionals including installers, network engineers, application commissioners and end-users operating system components.
The Thread Group was formed to develop an IP-based reliable, low-power, secure and scalable mesh networking solution to be the foundation upon which any application layer can run. The group initially focused its efforts on the connected home, and — with the successful release of the Thread 1.1 specification — numerous members and other alliances have expressed interest in deploying Thread into adjacent markets.
“This is a natural step in the evolution of the Thread networking protocol, and we’re excited that industry interest in building a Thread solution for the commercial building domain has been so strong,” said Grant Erickson, president of the Thread Group and principal engineer at Nest.
The Thread Group’s member roster includes a number of leading companies that focus on the commercial building and professional sectors, including Big Ass Solutions, Schneider Electric, OSRAM, Crestron, Siemens, EBV, Philips Lighting, and more. Many of these companies have committed to sharing their IP and engineering resources in order to bring the Thread solution to market for commercial buildings.
“OSRAM joined the Thread Group at the sponsor level because we believe in the technology’s potential for both the connected home and commercial building markets, and we’re very pleased to assist with the expansion of the Thread protocol for the professional market,” said Arnulf Rupp, senior director at OSRAM. “Thread boasts numerous technical advantages over other networking solutions in the market, and we see the profound impact that this technology can have on the commercial building and professional sectors.”
To offer engineers and developers as much flexibility as possible, the Thread Group has committed to complete backwards compatibility in its commercial solution. This will address the extended and more in-depth design and development of commercial buildings.