Thread Group, OCF create liaison agreement to boost collaboration on IoT

The Thread Group and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) are joining forces in their mission to conquer the connected home market, creating a liaison agreement to drive improved cross-application interoperability and device connectivity.

The organizations said they understand what needs to happen for the Internet of Things (IoT) to reach its full potential, and that means interoperability across common technology areas. The organizations pledged to work together to make sure the OCF's application layer will be fully compatible with Thread's low-power and scalable IPv6-based wireless mesh network layer.

"Thread Group members identified and prioritized OCF as a strategically important application layer to run over the Thread wireless mesh network," Thread Group President Grant Erickson said in a press release. "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."

The groups said that while the Thread Group focuses on the networking layer and OCF sits at the application layer, both support low-power technologies at the center 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 setup and configuration, all the way through application-to-application interactions," they said in the press release.

The OCF was announced earlier this year when Intel, Qualcomm and others joined forces. Previously, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), backed by Intel, formed in 2014 after Qualcomm and others established the AllSeen Alliance in 2013. OCF members include Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel, Microsoft, CableLabs, Cisco and more.

Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards for low power 802.15.4 mesh networks and is also backed by Qualcomm, Samsung, Nest Labs, ARM and more; it has grown to more than 240 members since it launched in July 2014. OCF operates under the objective that connected devices like phones, computers, sensors and other devices should be able to communicate with one another regardless of the manufacturer, operating system, chipset or physical transport. The group has more than 200 members.

For more:
- read the Thread Group release

Related articles:
Google's Nest announces open source implementation of Thread
Intel, Qualcomm lead new effort to tackle Internet of Things fragmentation
ZigBee, Thread take bigger step toward reducing IoT fragmentation

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