Connect: Thread Demo

Connect: Thread Demo


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, guys. My name’s Nick Smith. Welcome to this
episode of Connect. We’re going to be doing
a hands-on demo today, looking at a new connectivity
technology called Thread. So we have Seth Rickard
here from our R&D group to tell us a little
bit about this demo. How’s it going, Seth? It’s going well. How about yourself? I can’t complain. So before we get into
the demo, can you give us a little high-level
overview of what exactly Thread is. Sure. Thread is an IPv6-based home
automation mesh networking protocol based on
IEEE 8.02.15.4. And it’s designed to be
the best way to control devices in your home. OK, so similar to Zigbee, are
there some key differences? Yeah, so Zigbee is a home
automation mesh protocol as well. But Thread has seamless
IPv6 connectivity– so IPv6 addresses to all
devices in your network. OK. All right, yeah, let’s
get into the demo. So show me a little bit of
what I’m looking at here. All right, so over here,
we have an Android tablet that’s going to be acting
as the commissioner. And over here is just a your
standard home Wi-Fi router. OK. Over here is a Thread border
router with a BeagleBone Black and a network coprocessor. And then over here,
we have some devices that we have automated
our home with. We have a thermostat. Oh, yeah, I see. I see the little snowflakes
falling on the screen. That’s cool. Yeah, it’s supposed to be
cooling a house right now. Got you. And we have a temp
sensor, which is going to be acting as
a sleepy end device. And that’s talking
to the thermostat to update it with temperature. We have a shade to– Automated blinds type– Yep. Automated blinds. And then over here,
we have a door lock. And this hasn’t been
commissioned into the network. So it doesn’t know the
Thread network right now. So we’re going to do
that in a little bit. But first, let’s try and control
some devices in our home. So I’m going to start
up our demo app here. This is going to talk over
Wi-Fi then bridged over ethernet and then over Thread
to talk to all of these devices in the mesh. OK. So what I can do is I can
say I want to draw my blinds but leave them open. I want to completely
draw my blinds. I want to have them
completely closed. I can set the set
point of my thermostat. And we can see that
the set point change– Turned to 80. –stuff like that. Yeah, and I saw the blinds
toggle open and close. Very cool. So yeah, show me what this
commissioning is all about. Thread always talks
about quote, unquote, “smartphone commissioning.” Yep, yep, and it’s very
easy, very user friendly. So we’ll open up the Thread
Commissioning app, which is– Now one question– so the
app you just showed me, that was homemade? That’s built here at TI? That’s built at TI. It’s a demo app. This is built by the
Thread group itself and is available on the
Android Play Store right now. OK. So what I did was I
opened up the Thread app, and it’s connected securely
to my border router, discovered through mDNS,
and secured using DTLS. So what we’re going
to do is we’re going to get our door
lock into the network. And it’s as easy as
scanning the QR code on the back of the device– Oh, wow. –and pressing the right
button to tell the device it wants to join. At this point, we’re going
to get a DTLS session from the commissioner over
the Wi-Fi network proxied through the border
router, proxied by one of these routers
acting as a joiner router to talk to this joiner device. This Joiner will then be
authenticated and given the keys to the network,
and it’ll join the network. OK, so yeah, I see now
there’s a little lock symbol. So it’s joined the network. So we can switch
back to our example. And our lock is
now in the network. So I can say I want
to lock my lock, and there we can control it. Oh, very cool. So now, this is acting as an
MED and most likely connecting to the FTD thermostat. Very cool. So one last question– Thread is a wireless
protocol, correct? Yeah. So what are all these wires? Well, we need the power
of these devices somehow. And so we’ve just done
it with a USB hub. This could have been
done with battery power, but all of these USB
cables are only for power. Got you. This is to connect the network
coprocessor with the host processor and then
to connect to Wi-Fi. OK. Got you. Well, thanks, Seth. It’s been great learning a
little bit about a new wireless technology and actually
getting hands on. It’s a very cool demo. And thank you guys for joining
this episode of Connect and sitting with
Seth and I to learn a little bit about Thread. If you want to learn some more,
go to ti.com/thread to learn about IT’s Thread solution. And don’t forget to
tune in next week. We have a new product
coming that we’re going to discuss with
one of the experts. I won’t say more than that,
but be sure to tune in. And don’t forget to tweet
at me, @SensorToCloud. Thanks, guys, [MUSIC PLAYING]

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