The Thread Group and EEBus Initiative e.V. announced Thursday that the two alliances will collaborate in their efforts to build interoperable solutions for the smart home. As a result of this alliance, the organizations expect their members will benefit from access to key shared resources, including technical specifications and best practices, to help streamline product development.
EEBus developed the SPINE model – Smart Premises Interoperable Neutral-message Exchange – to enable interoperable communication between devices and services via the application layer, independent from market sectors and network protocols. Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure, scalable, low-power and reliable networks for easy device connectivity in the home.
Under the terms of this agreement, both groups acknowledge that Thread is a good transport for SPINE. EEBus members gain a standards-based IP network for constrained devices, and Thread members can access the SPINE application layer for its smart home applications.
With an end goal of supporting seamless device operation, both groups are collaborating with a number of industry alliances to ensure that member companies have multiple options to choose ideal application and network layer solutions. Specifically, the Thread Group and EEBus have strategic liaison agreements with ZigBee and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).
The organizations will work together to design an interface between SPINE and Thread, and will jointly develop best practices for building interoperable applications for key use-cases. Engineers from both groups are actively working to build a demonstration of EEBus’s SPINE model running atop Thread networks, which is expected to be made public early next year.
“EEBus is one of Europe’s leading internet of things alliances and shares the Thread Group’s mission to reduce fragmentation and create a harmonious and interoperable smart home ecosystem,” noted Grant Erickson, president of the Thread Group and principal engineer at Nest. “We’re excited to collaborate with EEBus on a combined solution for our members, and to drive smart home adoption, both in Europe and globally.”
“This relationship is a significant step forward to achieve an interoperable internet of things across the market, and we’re very pleased to be working with the Thread Group,” said Dr. Thomas Finke, member of the board of EEBus and vice president at Bosch. “Thread is a leading networking protocol within the IoT, and will be widely used in smart homes across the globe. Together, we can develop a joint solution that will expedite product development while simultaneously reducing industry fragmentation.”
The groups share a number of member companies, including Schneider, Somfy, Viessmann and TÜV Rheinland, and both memberships expressed interest in a formal agreement between the two organizations to facilitate a joint solution for the smart home and other IoT markets.