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IoT alliances collaborate to advance the connected home

The pair will work together to ensure OCF’s application layer will be fully compatible with Thread’s low-power IPv6-based wireless mesh network

The two organisations want to work towards helping the IoT fulfil its potential
The two organisations want to work towards helping the IoT fulfil its potential

The Thread Group and Open Connectivity Forum want to advance the adoption of connected products at home

To help the IoT realise its full potential, there must be interoperability across common technology areas

The two groups are committed to giving consumers a continuous and seamless product experience

Two alliances dedicated to progressing the Internet of Things (IoT) are joining forces to advance the adoption of connected home products.


The Thread Group and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) share many member companies who will benefit from this liaison agreement, and both groups are committed to driving improved cross-application interoperability and device connectivity in the connected home.

A lack of interoperability across common technology areas is consistently highlighted as one of biggest factors preventing the IoT from realising its full potential across the product development spectrum, including silicon, software, platform, and finished-goods. The two organisations will work together to ensure that OCF’s application layer will be fully compatible with Thread’s low-power, secure and scalable IPv6-based wireless mesh network layer.

“Thread Group members identified and prioritised OCF as a strategically important application layer to run over the Thread wireless mesh network,” explained Thread Group president, Grant Erickson. “In order for consumers to put their faith in the connected home, their experience must be simple, reliable, and effortless.


"This agreement takes us one step closer to our common goal of ensuring that consumers will have smart home devices that seamlessly work together out of the box, regardless of their brand or function.”

While the Thread Group focuses on the networking layer and OCF sits at the application layer, both support low-power technologies at the centre of their approaches to the connected home. In addition, both technologies were designed to scale-up from the internet of small things to the internet of larger things, which is an easier task than scaling down.


Together, the Thread Group and OCF are committed to providing consumers with a continuous and seamless product experience, and a fully-functioning connected home framework that is easy-to-use from set-up and configuration, all the way through application-to-application interactions.

“We work every day to unlock the opportunity of IoT that interoperability will enable,” said Mike Richmond, executive director, OCF. “But this collaboration with Thread is special. With Thread, we are able to provide both of our members with a joint solution that enables companies to more easily develop solutions for the connected home.”

Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networks that can easily and securely connect hundreds of devices to each other and directly to the cloud. The non-profit Thread Group is focused on making Thread the foundation for the IoT in the home, educating product developers and consumers on the features and benefits of Thread and ensuring a great user experience through rigorous, meaningful product certification. It is backed by companies such as ARM, Haiku Home, Nest Labs, NXP, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, Tyco and Yale Security. It has more than 240 members.


The OCF wants connected devices to be able to communicate with each other regardless of manufacturer, operating system or chipset. To this end, it has created the open source project, IoTivity and wants to help developers and companies create solutions that map to a single open specification. It has more than 200 members around the world.


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