CES 2024 Early Previews of New Thread Version

In this episode of the HomeKit Insider podcast, the host discusses some of the products announced at CES 2024, the new version of Thread, and answers listener questions.

At CES 2024, the Thread Group announced the next-generation version of its wireless mesh protocol, making development, troubleshooting, and usage easier. There’s now a standardized way for mesh networks to share credentials, allowing different border routers from different ecosystems to connect and create a large mesh network throughout the home. It also introduces new developer tools, easy onboarding for a large number of devices, Thread packets over PoE, and direct internet access for accessories. This enables them to access information such as weather, sports scores, stock prices, or any data the manufacturer desires.

They also saw the announcement of the first batch of CES devices. CES started later this week, but before this episode aired, they learned that Belkin announced its new Qi2 device and a new MagSafe mount that uses Apple’s DockKit, allowing it to lock onto your face and track you in front of the camera. Samsung also showcased its new robot vacuum cleaner. The new Jet Bot Combo can steam-clean floors and use AI to determine when additional cleaning is needed, sending out the robot again to handle stubborn stains. UltraLoq also unveiled a new lock for this exhibition, supporting Apple Home and Home Key, all connected via Wi-Fi.

After the news segment, they answer some listener questions received since the last podcast. Rodney followed up on the previous week’s podcast, saying he used a SwitchBot outdoor temperature and humidity sensor with his refrigerator, and the connection inside the refrigerator worked fine, displaying historical data through the app. Ben inquired about recommendations for cabinet lighting, which they categorized based on workload and price. Julian requested any Apple Home options suitable for wooden doors or even any smart lock options. It depends on the type of door latch, but they discussed various options. Lastly, someone inquired about the status of Apple Home smoke detectors. They discussed their favorite options and some alternatives that don’t require device replacement.