Datek has been working with Thread since early 2016 in several pilot projects. We have also opted to go for Thread by including a Thread radio module in our home gateway product. We are a member of the Thread Group and are watching the development of Thread closely.
Thread is a new radio standard for IoT (Internet of Things). The standard is based on much of the work of Zigbee, but is IP based, which creates some exciting opportunities. This means, among other things, that each “thing” with Thread built-in has its own IP address. Since Thread is based on much of the same as Zigbee, it also has many of the same features, such as good range and low power consumption, making it suitable for battery-powered products.
One of the challenges with Thread is that they have opted not to support one application protocol – one language – for communication between Thread products. Instead, it’s up to the suppliers to select which of the application layer protocols to use. This means that not all Thread products can talk to each other.
So far we have worked with the well known path of using Zigbee ZCL (Zigbee Cluster Library) over Thread as an application layer protocol (this option is coined DotDot by the Zigbee Alliance, and is a supplement to the ZCL specification for using it over other network types than Zigbee). This has worked great in our pilots, and is a very viable option moving forward.