Learning thermostat maker Nest, along with Samsung, ARM and a handful of other companies have teamed up to create a new wireless networking standard for smart home devices they're calling Thread. Instead of relying on traditional WiFi or Bluetooth, Thread uses ZigBee's 802.15.4-based wireless hardware, giving smart homes a network outside of the systems we're already using.
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WiFi and Bluetooth are already capable of handling the communication needs for most smart home devices, but the idea of a special network just for those does sound interesting. Unless Nest and Samsung can rope in and control ZigBee's fragmentation, however, Thread probably won't gain much traction.