Thread Group launches product certification for smart-home products

The Thread Group launched the first phase of its product certification program, kicking off what promises to be a rigorous testing program for products that use Thread. More than 30 products and components from members already have been submitted for certification, so it's ready to go right out of the gate.

The program, led in conjunction with UL, will test products to validate device behavior for commissioning, networking functionality, security and operation in Thread's network. Products may use the "Built on Thread" or "Thread Certified Component" logo to help consumers and product developers identify them on the market.

The group said its royalty-free licensing terms are designed to spur rapid adoption and reduce confusion by establishing a royalty-free pledge between members. Making the Thread 1.0 technical specification available to members under Thread's "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms," or RAND-royalty-free licensing terms, was an important step for the organization.

Last summer, the Thread Group released the Thread 1.0 specifications and documentation that allows members to build Thread-compliant products and announced it had retained Thomas Sciorilli to lead the certification program. Sciorilli has more than 15 years of experience leading and growing technical organizations; he was the technical operations director for the Wi-Fi Alliance from 2008 to 2012.

Thread's testing program is designed to make sure products work securely together as intended right out of the box. Like Zigbee, 802.15.4 is the radio technology that Thread runs over. In April, the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group announced a collaboration they said would allow the ZigBee Cluster Library to run over Thread networks. The groups said their goal was to "jointly provide an interoperable solution to help streamline product development and ultimately improve the consumer's experience in the connected home."

Thread Group this week also announced that OSRAM, a lighting manufacturer based in Munich, has joined its board of directors to support efforts to establish a secure and scalable networking foundation in the connected home. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Technologies is also on Thread's board. Thread Group now has more than 220 member companies after officially opening its doors for new membership in October 2014.

The organization said Thread-certified software stacks from ARM, Freescale and Silicon Labs will be available this month.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Thread Group releases its networking protocol, adds Qualcomm as board member
Thread Group, ZigBee Alliance announce collaboration to reduce IoT fragmentation
Security is top of mind for Internet of Things Thread Group
After Broadcom imbroglio, Open Interconnect Consortium, AllSeen Alliance wrestle with IP issues in IoT