Nanoleaf announced over a year ago that Nanoleaf Shapes, Nanoleaf Elements and Nanoleaf Lines would act as Thread border routers in the future. This was also partially implemented some time ago. With the latest update, the devices can now be fully used as Thread border routers in HomeKit, our friends at HomeKitNews report.
With the latest update, Nanoleaf’s Thread Border routers can also be fully used as such in HomeKit. That means these are effectively the first third-party Thread Border Routers that can be used alongside, or in some cases even instead of, Apple’s own Border Routers, the HomePod Mini, HomePod (2nd generation) and Apple TV 4K (2nd or 3rd generation with 128GB).
As a home hub, the lamps from Nanoleaf cannot replace Apple’s own devices, of course. This is exclusively about the function as a Thread border router, i.e. to integrate Thread devices into the home network.
This functionality should be especially interesting for users who do not have a Home Hub with Thread in use. Nanoleaf writes in the release notes:
Firmware version 8.5.2 and iOS/Android app version 9.1.0 are now required to enable Thread border routing on the above products [Nanoleaf Shapes, Elements, Lines]. Matter and HomeKit Thread devices are now fully supported. This update will also utilize Thread network credentials from the ecosystems (if already present) in order to put Nanoleaf border routers on the same Thread network as your border routers from companies like Apple and Google, or share Nanoleaf Thread credentials with the ecosystems and other third parties if credentials aren’t already available when the Nanoleaf border router is turned on.