Some people still have the perception of open source being for hobbyists and Linux enthusiasts. I can understand this wrong viewpoint, however.
After all, Microsoft has long had a stranglehold on both home and business workstation computing. That company has historically been a closed-source champion. Over time, open source ideology has matured, being embraced by many major companies - the Windows -maker included.
Today, the Google-owned Nest makes a big announcement. Its 'Thread' networking protocol is now open source. Dubbed 'OpenThread', the source code is now available on GitHub. Will it see a large scale adoption?
"Designed to connect products in and around the home into low-power, wireless mesh networks, Thread is backed by industry-leading companies including ARM, Big Ass Solutions, Nest Labs, NXP Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, Tyco and Yale Security. Existing popular application protocols and IoT platforms like Nest Weave and ZigBee can run over Thread networks to deliver interoperable, end-to-end connectivity", says Nest.
Greg Hu, Head of Nest Platform explains, "Thread makes it possible for devices to simply, securely, and reliably connect to each other and to the cloud. And because Thread is an IPv6 networking protocol built on open standards, millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices on the market can be easily updated to run Thread. OpenThread will significantly accelerate the deployment of Thread in these devices, establishing Thread as one of the key networking technology standards for connected products in the home".
If you are curious about OpenThread, Nest will be demoing it at this year's Google I/O conference. Developers and manufacturers in particular would be wise to experience this open source technology at the conference which runs from May 18th to the 20th.
Speaking of Google, routers based on its OnHub design are already OpenThread-ready, which should make them even more attractive to tinkerers and developers. My colleague Joe Wilcoxadores his OnHub router -- this news should makes it an even better value.
If you want to take a look at the source, you can do so here.