With its latest update, the Thread wireless standard has just laid the foundation for our future universal smart home. Devices that double as Thread edge routers, such as the Apple HomePod Mini and Amazon Eero, now support exhibit Thread-enabled devices regardless of their manufacturer.
If you own a handful of “incompatible” Thread devices, the Thread 1.3.0 update will provide improved compatibility, speed, and range within your smart home. But more importantly, this update lays the groundwork for Matter, a “universal translator” for smart home devices. Matter is actively supported by all the major players and will (hopefully) solve the biggest smart home problems: device compatibility and configuration.
When it launches later this year, Matter will allow a host of once-incompatible devices to work together (provided you have a Thread edge router). A product made for HomeKit might work with your Google Nest Hub, for example. Configuration has also been improved, as threaded edge routers appear as individual networks alongside your Wi-Fi router.
At the time of this writing, very few devices double up as threaded edge routers. Apple jumped on the bandwagon early with the HomePod Mini and 4K TV, but some Nanoleaf lights and Eero routers also support the technology. More devices, including Google’s Nest Hubs, will gain support for the Thread edge router when Matter launches.
Matter is expected to launch before the end of the year. If you already own a Thread edge router and want the 1.3.0 update, you’ll have to wait for your manufacturer to ship new firmware.
Source: Thread Pool