This specification describes a communication protocol for control, configuration and monitoring of connected devices. It is published under the CC BY-SA 4.0 Licenseopen in new window.

The protocol is called ThingSet - a protocol for settings of things. The main goals of the protocol are:


As an application layer protocol it should be widely independent of the underlying transport protocols and physical interfaces. It can be used with e.g. CAN, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, a simple serial interface or upcoming interfaces of the future.


Easy to integrate with more protocols like CoAP or HTTP and based on common data formats like JSON.

Easy to use and human-readable

Similar to Modbus, the protocol should have a text-based mode which is human-readable. This allows easy manual device communication via the serial interface. For M2M communication, a more compact binary mode should be available.

Compact footprint

Implementation and binary data representations should be very compact to enable transport via LoRa and CAN. Standard CAN frames allow a payload of only 8 bytes per frame, LoRaWAN allows 51 bytesopen in new window of application payload per message.

Schema-less and self-explaining

It should be possible to configure and monitor a device without a manual or a configuration file. This means that the protocol needs functions to discover the features and configurable settings of an unknown device. In contrast to other protocols like Modbus, you should not need to know the variable type and register address where a setting is stored.


The small devices should not need to handle sessions. Each request stands for its own.