With the introduction of the Matter connection standard, smart home users will have to worry far less about whether their devices will work together. Integrating and setting up new devices should be as easy as it is currently with manufacturer-specific solutions such as Google Home or Apple HomeKit – just manufacturer-independent. The release of version 1.3.0 of the Thread wireless networking protocol is now paving the way for Matter to be introduced.
With Thread 1.3.0, devices that support Thread should be able to be connected to all so-called Thread Border Routers. The routers can also connect to each other and thus build a mesh network. Although many devices are sold today with thread support, they have not been able to do this until now, so that sometimes several thread networks existed in parallel. If, in the next step, a uniform control is introduced with Matter, compatible devices from different manufacturers and previously different standards can be controlled comprehensively.
Which devices get Thread 1.3.0
In order for suitable router devices to support the new functions of Thread 1.3.0, however, the manufacturers must first update them. The IT blog “The Verge” names the Nest Hub Max, the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), the Apple TV 4K, the Apple HomePod Mini, the Echo Smart Speaker from Amazon (4th generation), the Nanoleaf Shapes, Elements and Lines LED Light Panels and all Wi-Fi 6 Eero Mesh routers as devices to support Thread 1.3.0 in the future.
No more need for additional hubs
Thread routers can basically be any device that is always on and has an internet connection. They serve as a transitional connection between smart home devices and the Internet, replacing the additional hubs that have been required in many smart home solutions to date. Thread devices can thus be addressed outside of the Thread network like normal WLAN devices. The border routers can also connect to each other and thus find the best route for the data. In addition, one border router can replace another, so that a smart home with multiple router devices remains functional even if one device fails. According to the Thread consortium, Thread is also characterized by low latencies and low energy consumption. Communication is end-to-end encrypted, so the routers cannot see the communication between the devices.
Also new with Thread 1.3.0 is the ability to automatically import firmware updates to Thread devices. Even if several devices are updated at the same time, there should be no impairments in network performance.
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