What you need to know
- Aqara has announced new sensors that offer Thread support coming later this year.
- The new Door and Window and Motion sensors will work with HomeKit.
- Aqara has already committed to offering Matter interoperability in future.
At CES 2022, smart home accessory maker Aqara has unveiled two new sensors that offer Thread support. The new Thread-based Door and Window Sensor and Motion Sensor are slated to ship in the second half of 2022.
As part of the announcement, Aqara has also reiterated it commitment to adopt the Matter smart home standard, stating that it will bring Matter support to its existing Zigbee-based products by pushing an over-the-air update to Aqara hubs such as the Aqara Hub M2 and M1S.
This update will in turn expose Aqara's hub-connected accessories to Matter, allowing them to connect with other Matter-compatible third-party devices and enabling users to keep their existing setup intact.
For those unfamiliar, Thread is a low-power, hub-free wireless mesh networking protocol built for the Internet of Things. Similar to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Thread allows your smart home accessories to communicate with the internet, apps, or each other, giving you convenient controls and the ability to automate your home over an IP-based network.
One of the best parts of Thread is its ability to "self-heal." Instead of every device communicating directly with your mobile device or Wi-Fi router, Thread accessories relay commands and data through each other and can automatically reroute if one device happens to fall off of the network.
Matter is a smart home connectivity standard backed by the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and other big names in tech. It is designed to increase interoperability between smart home devices across platforms and it is built to work on top of technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and Thread.
No pricing has yet been announced for Aqara's new Thread-based Door and Window Sensor or Motion Sensor. Given how inexpensive its existing HomeKit devices, we'd still expect them to be on the affordable side even with the new Thread capabilities.
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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.