Apple Joins “Thread,” the Mesh Networking Standard

Apple recently joined Thread Group, becoming a member of the Board of Directors.

Thread is a “mesh networking” standard, competing with other device-connecting standards such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Bluetooth.

The non-profit group focuses on making Thread the foundation for the internet of things in homes and commercial buildings. Built on open standards, Thread is a low power wireless networking protocol that enables direct, end-to-end, secure and scalable connectivity between IoT devices, mobile devices, and the internet. And, because Thread is IP-based, it seamlessly integrates with many environments, apps, devices and clouds.

“Thread’s technology isn’t reliant on an internet connection or Wi-Fi, instead, it provides a dedicated network for connecting products.” Thread says on its website.

Thread Group claims the standard, based on the 6LoWPAN protocol and using IPv6 and IEEE 802.15.4, offers extremely low power consumption for devices, and “banking-class” encryption.

At the moment, there are only a few Thread products on the market.  It’s early days and Thread is backed by industry-leading companies including ARM, Nest Labs, Nordic Semiconductors, NXP Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Silicon Labs, Somfy, Yale Security and many more.

Apple’s intentions with Thread are unknown, but adding mesh networking to devices in the Age of IoT can only help Apple “sew up” the market.