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Qualcomm Joins Google's Rival Internet-of-Things Consortium

The move hopefully portends more cooperation and fewer competing efforts for Internet-of-things standards.

Asa Mathat

Qualcomm said Tuesday it is working with Thread Group, a Google-backed effort to determine ways for Internet-connected devices to talk to one another.

The move is important because Qualcomm has been a key backer of the AllSeen Alliance, one of several competing efforts to set standards for the so-called Internet of Things. By taking part in Thread as well, Qualcomm opens the door for potential cooperation and collaboration between the two bodies.

The Internet of things, like the actual Internet of today, depends on a single set of standards rather than multiple, competing ones. After all, no one wants a connected light bulb, for example, that can’t talk to a smart home hub because the two devices are speaking different languages.

But that’s exactly the situation currently, with Thread just one of several competing efforts. In addition to Thread and AllSeen, there’s also the Open Interconnect Consortium, backed by Intel, Dell and others.

A Thread representative said that adding Qualcomm highlights the importance of products that support multiple standards efforts.

The Thread Group is also announcing Tuesday that it has finalized the initial version of its specification, meaning the first Thread-certified products could show up by the end of the year, although expect January’s CES to be a bigger time for hearing about Thread-bearing devices.

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