The Thread Group is releasing several new features and enhancements to its border routers designed to enable developers and manufacturer to build open and interoperable smart home systems.
According to the IoT industry alliance, the new features give manufacturers and developers of smart home and commercial building devices who use Thread at the network layer more opportunities to innovate and offer better support and end-user experiences.
In addition, the enhancements offer professional installers the ability to improve their own business by making the installation process easier with more troubleshooting capabilities and reduced on-site time, the Thread Group says in a blog post.
The new features and enhancements announced include credential sharing, more ubiquitous internet connectivity, Thread over infrastructure, network diagnostics, secure commissioning at scale, and other maintenance updates.
According to the Thread Group, many of the updates are focused on standardizing the way Thread Broder Routers and devices from different vendors can share credentials with each other. It will now be easier to add a new Thread Border Router or Thread device to an existing Thread network , resulting in a single, larger-ranging Thread mesh network that includes multiple Border Routers to increase the reliability of the device in it.
In addition, Thread Group announced more ubiquitous internet connectivity, requiring Thread Border Routers to provide a standardized path to the internet for the devices connected to it following the update. This means product makers can build devices that leverage the cloud for more dynamic features or give users the ability to remotely control devices. Manufacturers can also send software updates to devices and perform diagnostics to provide better technical support, according to Thread Group.
The group also announced that with new Thread over Infrastructure enhancements. Thread Border Routers connected to each other only over existing infrastructure like Wi-Fi or Ethernet can leverage those connections as additional paths in the Thread network.
By reusing these links, users can get better range, reliability and robustness with less complexity, the alliance says.
The Thread Group also announced updates to network diagnostics capabilities that come thanks to newly standardized methods for Thread devices to provide network configuration and status data, giving developers and installers more visibility into Thread networks and helping to make troubleshooting easier.
To make it easier to wireless onboard Thread devices pre-installed in difficult-to-reach places, the Thread Group is launching secure commissioning at scale to address the need of installers. Instead of scanning physical install codes once devices are powered on, this allows installers to commission devices by implementing over authenticated TLS by exchanging security certificates. This can be performed while in proximity using a mobile device over a wireless connection.
The group is also making several maintenance updates to enable more robust operation and performance across Thread mesh networks.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!