Thread wireless protocol?


Checking some other IoT hardware, I discovered the Thread wireless technology ( that looks to use same hw as Zigbee but different sw stack with native IPV6 support in the system.
Does anyone has more info about it ? usable with HA ? How ? what hw ? and/or sw ?




I’m wondering this as well. Haven’t heard of the standard before, but it was mentioned at the Google i/o keynote yesterday.

Thread uses 6LoWPAN I use it at work to mesh lorawan devices together and I have been able to achieve distances of upto 12km between nodes. This tech would be easy to integrate into HA however thread networking usually uses another bearer for ipv6 transmission so the ip traffic is passed through the network with out being converted being piggybacked if you like over low power wireless. I use 900mhz where as the application in the article uses 2.4ghz class licence so distances would be pretty poor and susceptible to WiFi interference same as zigbee already is. I also don’t really see the benefit for the home automation user over what is already in the market. It will however push IoT outside of the house so things like wearables and factories etc would be perfect use cases for this tech.

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Eero 2.0 has Thread radios built in so not sure I agree. If your Wifi inside your house happens to incorporate this then you have a ready made supporting network for Zigbee like devices which seems pretty cool.

Thread has now become a lot more interesting with the latest Google Hardware event. Given how many manufacturers have come on-board with Thread, including Apple, Samsung and Philips, this could be a game changer.
This could finally become a protocol that becomes universal. Would be interesting to see how projects liek Home Assistant can integrate with Thread and the whole Works with Google Assistant ecosystem in the longer term.

I am sure you know it already, but the related topic details are on: As far as i know, Google Nest products have been using this for some time now. We still are drowning in the sea of home automation and IOT protocols and there’s still no clear winner. I wish it was as simple as Betamax vs VHS or HD vs Bluray :grin:

Among the Zigbee, ZWave, WiFi, BT, KNX, RF etc. we will see how Thread will keep up…

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That is true. Thread has been lurking in the background for some time, but to have the likes of Apple, Philips and Samsung all on board with it, and the fact that ZigBee radios could potentially be converted to Thread with Firmware, it could be Google has managed to come up with the one that will be game changer. We will have to see of course, but it is looking a lot more universal than anything else out there.
Hopefully Google wont force everyone to have “Works with Google Assistant” verification to use Thread…

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I was recently at the Wlan Professionals conference in Prague where some great guy told about how to design for thread using Wi-Fi survey software. He also dissects the thread system, so I think this could be useful to you folks. Here is the link


Everything seems universal and solid as you said @brendan; the only thing i am suspicious is that Google is in the business. I never trusted them; it has way too many solid projects that it has abandoned and buried in the dusted pages of history in the past; and the remaining projects continues to collect all kinds of our private data in the name of big data. Call me paranoid; but when it comes to google, i wouldn’t trust their dedication in the long term… Like Apple, if Google senses any money to be sucked from the project and users, they will go for it.

Google has a reputation for killing in-house products that is true. With that said, they seem to be pretty solid on Automation and AI products. They have strengthened their NEST branding and range, and they still seem pretty solid on providing new features in routines and refining the AI experience with Google Assistant.
Given that, and the fact the likes of Apple (opposition to Google really) Samsung and Philips are on board, I doubt this will be set aside. It will take time, like ZigBee and Zwave did, but I think Thread is here long term with such big players putting their weight behind it.
It is worth keeping a close eye on if nothing else and may be worth looking at a way to get Thread into Home Assistant in my opinion. :slight_smile:
I wonder if stand alone Thread controllers will become available.


Any Development based on thread going on for incorporating it in to the Homeassistant.?.Any Integrations Available that can include thread in homeassistant

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I see Thread devices are finally starting to hit the market. With the Apple HomePod Mini (I understand as the Border Router) and Nanoleaf Essentials RGB Bulb and Strip.

I am in the process of setting up a OpenThread Border Router on a Raspberry PI with a Nordic nRF52840 NCP USB for the Radio. (

Would be great to hear if Home Assistant have any plans to introduce support to communicate with thread devices, it would appear once a OpenThread Border Router is in place along with paired devices, IPv6 communication from network to the end devices will be possible.


would love to see any official news from home assistant on this. At least to me it seems as something to look into.


Just wanted to add another vote for thread. I’ve just set up a Nanoleaf bulb and HomePod Mini after receiving them for the holidays. It’s currently my only smart home product not integrated into Home Assistant, but I’d love for that to change!

Thread seems promising, and at the very least provides another mesh, low energy option for users to choose in their Home Assistant setup. Not to mention the Nanoleaf products seem to be well made and rather price competitive.


I bought myself a couple of Eve Energy Plugs and door sensors as well as some nanoleaf essentials lights, all working great with my HomePod Mini!

Except, no HomeAssistant integrations yet, which is a pity… hopefully soon.

I use the Eve iOS app at the moment to check the status of the thread network. It tells you which devices are connected to to where, signal quality, etc

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So I’ve discovered that there is an OpenThread Border Router Docker container, with some basic instructions to get things going here (also mentioned by @ryano ) .

Which basically states the following (among other things):

  1. Create an IPv6 network for the OpenThread Border Router (OTBR) container in Docker:
docker network create --ipv6 --subnet 2001:db8:1::/64 -o otbr
  1. Start the OTBR container using the command below with rcp-dk in the last line replaced with the device node name of the nRF52840 DK that is running the RCP firmware (for example, /dev/ttyACM0):
docker run -it --rm --privileged --network otbr -p 8080:80 \--sysctl "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0 net.ipv4.conf.all.forwarding=1 net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1" \--volume rcp-dk:/dev/ttyACM0 openthread/otbr --radio-url spinel+hdlc+uart:///dev/ttyACM0

So since this is a container, I suppose it could be easily added to HA as an Add-on; the only thing needed then is a USB device to support all of this.

The article mentions using this nRF52840n development kit device for now, although I see that they also have a USB dongle.

I did also read in a GitHub issue of phoscon that they could update the ConBee firmware to support Thread when it becomes relevant.


A video of nanoleaf about this protocol as well


Seems like Thread is pickup speed and more products are entering the market.

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… maybe because it’s one of the major transport layers for CHIP?! :wink:

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Of course this could be the reason from the view of chip producers.
But I believe that finding a common standard between all those producers is even a bigger driver.