Guest Article: Combining IPSO Smart Objects and Thread Protocol for Optimal IoT Connectivity

Robert Assimiti, Co-Founder and CTO, Centero
We did an extensive evaluation before selecting the standards-based protocols for our IoT communication platform. For our application layer connectivity and device management, our main selection criteria were having a light and simple construct while also achieving maximum interoperability with other IoT connected devices. IPSO Smart Object is a model that is optimized for constrained devices. As for the underlying wireless connectivity, security and networking protocol we chose Thread. That combination resulted in our FabriK™ standards-based communication platform, which provides an easy path to deploying IoT system or device connectivity in markets such as residential, commercial and industrial.

Benefits of IPSO Smart Object Modeling
The FabriK platform utilizes a combination of the Open Mobile Alliance’s (OMA) LightweightM2M device-management protocol (LWM2M) and the IPSO Alliance’s Smart Object Guidelines for application layer data modeling and management. The Thread protocol was architected to be an application agnostic connectivity, security and networking protocol. The below figure shows the anatomy of our communications stack.

Centero chose a combined IPSO/LWM2M open data model because it is:

  • Easy to understand and implement, resulting in swift time-to-market
  • Standards based and cross-vendor interoperable, which our end users require
  • Interoperable, encouraging the growth of a healthy device ecosystem
  • Lightweight and ideal for constrained devices, requiring minimal hardware resources and allowing vendors to build them at a low cost
  • Includes device management mechanisms, such are firmware updates and fault reporting


What is Thread?
The Thread wireless mesh protocol provides device connectivity, security and networking tailored to meet the requirements present in a wide array of market verticals and applications. The Thread protocol is a technology that is architected, ratified and certified by the Thread Group. This industry alliance is committed to delivering and evolving its networking technology, educating the industry on the benefits and uses of this technology, and providing a rigorous and meaningful product certification process that ensures people have a positive experience using connected devices where they live and work.

FabriK Platform Highlights
So, why did we build our IPSO compliant data application layer on top of Thread? Here are some of our top reasons:

  • It is aligned with several IPSO core tenets:
    • All Thread-compliant devices support native IPv6/6LoWPAN addressability and connectivity
    • Protocol is built on a foundation of existing, vetted standards, and architected for constrained, IoT connected devices
  • Wireless communications are based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which allows vendors to build products based on the low-cost, widely available chipsets/radios and modules provided by many silicon vendors
  • Robust, two-layered security construct is based on link layer (hop-to-hop) and transport layer (end-to-end) security, ensuring confidentiality, authenticity and privacy for user data
  • Thread-compliant networks have no single point of failure, since the data can be relayed to servers residing in the cloud through multiple, redundant border routers with failover capabilities
  • Optimized for battery and energy-harvesting powered devices, resulting in products and systems that boast market-leading battery life
  • Devices are organized in mesh topologies, ensuring path diversity and redundancy for optimal sent/received data packet reliability; also designed for critical real-time monitoring and control with guaranteed latency

For additional information, please send an inquiry to contact@centerotech.com.