Apple has joined a smart home coalition of multiple companies called ‘The Thread Group.’
It’s unclear what Apple’s involvement in the group specifically is, though the tech giant is now listed as an official member on The Thread Group’s website. Interestingly, Apple is listed in the member’s section without a company logo.
Thread is a new mesh network standard that makes it easier for various smart home platforms to communicate with each other. The technology supports a variety of smart home devices such appliances, lights, security systems, smart thermostats and a variety of other IoT devices.
“It’s hard to get devices to talk to one another. And once they do, the connection is often spotty and power hungry. Thread changes all that. It’s a mesh network designed to securely and reliably connect hundreds of products around the home – without blowing through battery life,” reads text on The Thread Group’s website.
To put this move into perspective, Nest (which is owned by Google) and Amazon already support Thread. Apple finally joining the group could mean the tech giant has plans to shift its typical walled-garden approach to hardware to be more open when it comes to its HomeKit platform.
The Thread Group includes notable tech companies like Qualcomm, LG and even Asus. A full list of companies that are part of the group is available on its official website.
As it stands, HomeKit accessories are required to work over either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It’s possible Apple could have plans to bolster the number of IoT smart home devices the HomePod is capable of connecting to with Thread.
As always, this is all just speculation since it’s currently unknown what Apple intends to do with The Thread Group’s technology.