When Apple first introduced the HomePod Mini during their keynote, they did not mention it was a Thread Border Router. This is possibly the future of smart home device connectivity. The HomePod Mini is the starting point of a Thread mesh network because it is a Thread Border Router and it is automatic and does not need any configuration or setup.
Thread is a new low energy mesh network protocol standard for smart home devices. Thread enabled smart home devices inter-connect to each other to form a mesh network so there are no central hub to relay data. A thread network starts with at least one or more border routers (sometimes called edge routers). The best border router to use for HomeKit home automation is the HomePod Mini which is very easy to set up because it automatically works when you connect to your wifi and login with your Apple ID. You can have as many HomePod Mini as desired such as having one in each room. They will all route and connect to Thread enabled devices. Each Thread device can connect to each other and extend the Thread mesh network.
Advantages of using Thread in your HomeKit automation:
*Network is decentralized and non-hierarchical.
*Self organizing and self configuring.
*Can add one or more border router (HomePod Mini).
*Full Enabled Thread devices can extend to the network by connecting to each other.
*No single point of failure (as long there are more than one border router (HomePod Mini)).
*The network is self-healing. Should one device fail, connected device will switch connection to another device so data can continue to routed.
*High level of security.
*Low energy so battery device (Minimal Thread Device) can connect without draining battery.
*Open industry standard.
Start by adding one or more HomePod Mini to your home WiFi. These HomePod Mini will act as border router for your Thread Network and other Thread enable devices can connect to the HomePod Mini. This happens automatically. You simply use the Home app on your iPhone or iPad to scan the HomeKit device to add to your HomeKit network. It will automatically connect to a HomePod Mini or another Thread device that is connected to the Thread network.
The Thread protocol is new so there are only a few Thread enable devices on the market so far but more are expected to be announced or some current devices may be Thread enabled with a firmware update.
The Eve Energy smart plug is a fully enabled Thread device because it is plug into a socket and is on all the time so it can connect to other Thread devices to extend the network. It is a good idea to add some these to build up the Thread mesh network. Plug in some lamps, fans, and other non-smart device into the Eve Energy to make them smart.
There are two type of Thread devices. There are Full Thread Devices and Minimal Thread Devices. Full Thread Devices allows other thread enabled devices to connect to them. Full Thread Devices act as router and extends the Thread mesh network. These devices are always on. The more of these device on the network, the more extended and robust the network becomes. Minimal Thread Devices are generally battery powered devices and can connect to Full Thread Devices or Thread Border Router (such as a HomePod Mini), but other Thread devices cannot connect to them thus Minimal Thread Devices do not extend the network. For example, Eve Weather is a Minimal Thread Device and is battery operated while the Eve Energy is a Full Thread Device and can route data from other Thread enabled devices connected to them.
Shop The Smart Thread Enabled Home Devices Below:
Eve Energy smart plugs and power meter
Eve Door And Weather Sensors
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