Thread Group Kicks Off Program for IoT Startups
Selected companies will receive a free membership of up to 18 months with the consortium, which launched last year.The Thread Group, an Internet of things standards consortium launched last year by such major tech players as Samsung, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor and Google's Nest Labs, wants to make it easier for startups to join the group. The consortium, which now has more than 80 members after kicking off in July 2014, recently announced the Thread Innovation Enabler Program for innovative startups with ideas for products that support the group's Thread protocol. Through the program, companies selected will be given free membership as a contributor for up to 18 months as well as other benefits. On the Thread Group's Website, officials wrote that the program "recognizes that much of the innovation in the Connected Home will come from small start-up companies who can't necessarily afford membership fees. We want to help these small, innovative companies launch Thread-enabled products." The Thread Group is one of several industry groups that are working on open specifications to enable the tens of billions of devices that will make up the Internet of things (IoT) to more easily connect and communicate with each other. Among the other groups is the AllSeen Alliance, which was formed in December 2013 and is developing the AllJoyn-based software platform. The Open Interconnect Consortium, which was founded by such vendors as Intel, Samsung, Dell and Atmel the same month that the Thread Group launched, in January unveiled the preview release of its open-source Iotivity software framework.
The Thread networking protocol is designed to be low power, resilient and open, enabling others to easily design and build devices that leverage it, according to consortium officials. It's based on IPv6 over Low-power Wireless Personal Area Network (6LoWPAN) and is built on the existing 802.15.4 standard. Thread creates a wireless mesh home network that supports more than 250 devices, with each having a direct path to the Internet, according to the group.