Google-owned Nest latest to unveil industry group backing Internet of Things standards

By Sooraj Shah
15 Jul 2014 View Comments
nest-thermostat

Google-owned Nest Labs is the latest company to set up an industry group that is backing Internet of Things standards.

The standard that the group is focusing on is called Thread, and the industry group, which consists of Samsung, ARM Holdings, Freescale Semiconductor, Silicon Labs, Big Ass Fans and lock maker Yale, is therefore titled the Thread Group.

Further reading

It is the third such industry group lobbying for Internet of Things standards to have launched in the past year. In December, Qualcomm revealed a 51-member group of firms, including LG, Panasonic and Sharp, called the AllSeen Alliance.

While earlier this month, Samsung, Intel, Dell, Broadcom, Atmel and Wind River announced that they would be collaborating to create standards for internet-enabled devices that communicate with each other, under an industry consortium dubbed the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC).

The fact that there are now several industry groups could cause problems in the future, whereby each group may believe that their standard should be the one that the industry follows, and could ultimately leave consumers and enterprises unable to synchronise devices because of differing specifications. The move by Nest shows that the Internet of Things sector is maturing faster than many had anticipated, and that companies such as Samsung will fight to assume control over an entire marketplace if possible.

According to the Thread Group, Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, designed for low-power 802.15.2 mesh networks. Existing application protocols and IoT platforms can run over Thread networks, it said.

Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, and an adviser to the Thread Group, said that the protocol "takes existing technologies and combines the best parts of each to provide a better way to connect products in the home".

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