Google’s Nest launches network technology for connected home

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SAN FRANCISCO  – Google Inc’s Nest Labs on unveiled an industry group to encourage makers “smart” home gadgets like locks and lightbulbs to Thread, a new standard for devices to communicate on a network.

attempt by Nest, a smart thermostat maker that Google bought in January for $3.2 billion, to lead way on how household devices will speak to each other in underscores importance placed by Google on cars, homes and other areas.

It follows similar initiatives by Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp and other technology .

new Thread Group includes Samsung Electronics Co and chip ARM Holdings Plc, Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and Silicon Labs. Big Ass Fans and lock maker Yale are also members the group, which will certify Thread-compatible products.

Thread is a networking protocol security and low-power features that make it better for connecting household devices than other technologies such as Wifi, NFC, Bluetooth or ZigBee, said Chris Boross, a Nest product manager heads the new group. Nest’s products already a version Thread.

The radio chips used for Thread-compatible smart devices are already in many existing connected home products that ZigBee, like Philips Hue smart lightbulbs.

Those ZigBee devices could be updated software their manufacturers to work Thread after a product certification program starts next year, Boross said.
“Around that time I imagine that Thread-compliant products will start hitting the , but people can start building Thread today,” he said.

including Silicon Labs, Freescale, NXP and Atmel Corp make chips that could be used in Thread-compatible products, which Boross said will be easy to interconnect and offer improved security.

“Google is an 800-pound gorilla. their impact on the ecosystem, they could definitely influence the direction the industry goes,” said Jim McGregor, a technology analyst at Tirias Research.

In June, Nest said it partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool Corp and lightbulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with its thermostats and smoke detectors.

Its Thread Group goes even further, adding to a growing field of industry consortia trying to standardize how connected gadgets manufacturers interact.

Last week, Thread Group member Samsung Electronics also joined Intel and Dell Inc to form a new consortium.

Earlier in July, Microsoft Corp became the 51st member of a competing group called AllSeen Alliance, which is led by Qualcomm and also includes Sharp Corp and other consumer electronics manufacturers.

Inc, known for strictly controlling how other companies’ products interact with its own, in June announced plans for HomeKit, its own framework for connecting household gadgets. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]