Nest's "Thread" IoT Networking Protocol Hits GitHub

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Google-owned Nest was one of the first big players in the Internet of Things business. As such, it fell to them to create their own protocol for networking and smart home automation that devices networked together could use to communicate with each other. Developing in partnership with big names like Samsung, ARM, Haiku Home, Yale, NXP, and Silicon Labs, they eventually wound up creating Thread. Meant to become the gold standard for IoT, Thread is still in wide use today, despite never achieving its lofty original goal. A great number of IoT standards have cropped up, come and gone, and the war is still on to decide on a true gold standard for the industry if there will ever be one. On May 11, an open-source version of Thread called OpenThread, hit popular open-source collaboration and code repository site GitHub.

After creating Thread, the group of creators and developers that collaborated with Nest to create it headed up the Thread Group to help spread the standard and ensure smooth operation and compliance wherever it was found. At this time, there are about 230 companies that can boast a position in the Thread Group, along with 30 unique products awaiting certification. Nest’s Weave protocol which was developed using Thread, provides device-to-device communication in the home over networks such as WiFi and Thread.


The original uploading of the OpenThread code includes some sample code for developers to play around with. Nest said that any developer can use OpenThread, but that the Thread certification was only available to developers and OEMs who were in the original group that created the standard. Opening up their Thread protocol is actually Nest’s very first move in the open-source world. Developers can contribute, commercially use and  individually fork the OpenThread project as they please, since Nest will be keeping the original Thread as a separate product with its own continuing development cycle. They plan to show off OpenThread at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference, but it is already available on GitHub for any interested users to pick through. If you would like to check out the demo and code for yourself, head through the source link.