Thread has been developed by seven companies as a standard to allow for intelligent smart homes that work better. It will mean lower power consumption and smarter linked gadgets.
Currently there are options like ITTT which causes on action, like opening the front door, to trigger another like turning on the hall light. But if it gets more complicated and a part of that chain fails the user is in trouble. Thread aims to create an IPv6 network that is able to "self-heal" using a mesh that keeps everything working.
Thread also aims to reduce power consumption by creating this intelligently run mesh network. That means that if one device is currently more power consuming than others Thread will be able to make sure it fits in the low power standard that the others use also. Meaning less battery changes on home devices that might otherwise chew through power.
Thread is an open network that will mean all devices in the smarthome, from thermostats to alarm systems, can be controlled via Thread from anywhere in the world.
Apple is also working on a solution in conjunction with Qualcomm. How these two competing platforms end up working isn't clear but it looks like the iOS and Android decision isn't going away even for the smarthomes of the future. Choose your smart fridge wisely if you want it to work with your gadgets then.