What you need to know
- The HomePod mini is Apple's first to support Thread technology.
- The technology could be used to help build a more cross-compatible smart assistant platform.
- Thread support in HomePod mini, however, is currently limited to HomeKit devices.
Thread is a low-power IP-based networking technology for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices, offering a secure, mesh-based system that makes it easy to build an ecosystem of devices.
Apple is currently in an alliance with Amazon, Google, and other companies called Project Connected Home over IP, which would use Thread as a way to make devices more easily compatible with the different smart assistants.
While Thread is essentially agnostic to the application layers that run on top of it, it can support multiple layers and may play a role in Project Connected Home over IP, the alliance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and other companies that is seeking to make it simpler to build devices compatible with multiple ecosystems such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
According to the report, however, it appears that Thread support for the HomePod mini is currently limited to HomeKit devices.
For the time being, however, Apple says in a footnote that HomePod mini's Thread support is limited to HomeKit devices, so the technology can't yet be leveraged cross-platform and it remains to be seen how Apple will embrace Thread going forward.
Thread is, for now, shrouded in mystery as to how Apple plans to use it moving forward, but it is good to know that the HomePod mini will have the technology for whatever those plans may be. The new HomePod mini will be available for preorder on November 6 and begin shipping on November 16.