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Why smart homes are the future of the smart enterprise

The first HomeKit-compatible Thread accessories are beginning to appear, and while that’s good news for consumers, it should also be good news for enterprise users.

What the Thread?

Originally designed by Nest, Samsung and ARM, Thread is an IP-based connectivity standard for smart devices. It’s a low-power mesh technology protocol that uses existing standards, such as IPv6, BLE, and others. At its simplest, it means devices from different manufacturers should be able to work together, securely, responsively, and with minimal cost to battery life.

Now supported by Apple, HomePod mini can be used as a base station for a Thread network, with the Eve Weather clearly destined to become one of the first new Apple-focused products to ship with support for it. (Eve Systems began updating existing products to support Thread in fall 2020.)

“By enabling Thread on their devices, Eve delivers a meaningful value today, and lays the groundwork for a scalable, robust smart home ecosystem,” said Sujata Neidig, vice president of the Thread Group.

Thread is also a key element of the CHIP (Connected Home over IP) standard that’s currently being developed by partners, including Apple. And while the present focus is on smart homes, recent years have shown us that technologies that gain mass market adoption will eventually be deployed across the enterprise.

The consumerization of IT

The consumerization of IT means it’s no longer acceptable for the technologies used at work to be more complex or less efficient than those we use in daily life. We know productivity, efficiency — even job satisfaction and staff retention — all suffer when people are forced to endure a poor technology experience.

These shifts in expectations are accentuated when employees work from home. Think about it: Home workers can quite literally experience better technology and applications in their personal lives than they do at work, side-by-side on the same desk.

One of the implications of COVID-19 that hasn’t yet been addressed is how to ensure the technology experience employees get in the office is at least as good as the one they have at home, once people return to the workplace more frequently.

Employers who get that balance right will find it much easier to attract better and more loyal staff, even if they don’t visit the office very often.

Image source: Pay Space Magazine


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