Thread as a concept comes from a collaborative effort by a few technology companies who have decided that the world needs another wireless home networking standard.
Unlike some other wireless home networking standards, Thread has been born in the age of the ‘Internet of Things’, taking into account the need to support everything from traditional home appliances to security, as well as everything in between.
ZigBee’s Cluster Library standardises application level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets, while Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks.
Despite the agreement, both organisations have stated that they remain committed to their independence, meaning we won’t see the alliances merge anytime soon.
The reasoning behind the two alliances coming together was so that its members can streamline product development, although the two also hope that it might improve the consumer’s experience in the connected home.
Thread’s and ZigBee’s agreement isn’t surprising, the standard sports the same carrier specification as ZigBee – IEEE 802.15.3 – and is based on IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks.