Thread beta option in Eero app...why now, why use it, and anything aside from Nest products?
Just noticed the Thread beta option in the Eero app under Advanced settings. I hadn't seen anything much going on w/Thread in a while (from a consumer perspective) and as far as I could find few products other than Nest appear to support it (via Threadgroup.org).
I have a Nest thermostat and Nest Protect that I use via the Nest app and SmartThings integrations, so I wasn't feeling like I had any lack of connectivity options w/my Nest devices.
Wondering how/why this feature got pushed to the top of the list for addition to Eero over other requests, and would appreciate more info on why I should enable it - how will it change or improve my interactions/control/security of my Nest devices?
Thread is not just a software feature, but also requires a specific hardware radio. So by putting it in their hardware now, even though there isn’t a lot of devices using it yet, they are helping you out by future proofing your hardware investment. It’s really a pretty awesome move on their part and I appreciate them thinking ahead like this. Here is their explanation from a blog post last year announcing the gen 2 hardware.
“WiFi can transmit lots of data very quickly, but it’s power-intensive, which is why most connected devices require a large battery or a constant connection to power. To truly be able to add sensors and gadgets throughout your home, you need a reliable connectivity option that requires less power than WiFi. That’s why all new eero hardware comes equipped with a Thread radio.
Thread is the latest generation in a series of low-power wireless protocols like Z-wave, Bluetooth, and Zigbee, but because it uses IPv6 natively, it’s more reliable, and employs secure protocols and encryption by default. We’re the first WiFi system to include an active Thread radio, and believe it will have a big role to play in the connected home of tomorrow. Built right into your eero system, Thread will mean fewer hubs (on your counter or TV stand). And coupled with over-the-air software updates, it means your new eero system comes future-proofed.”
cMoo92 pretty much nailed it 🙂
Here is a bit more from our product team:
eero is committed to Thread to support low power and constrained devices with WiFi-like connectivity. Thread is the only low power technology built around IP (IPv6 specifically). We wanted to expose a preliminary implementation of eero as a Thread border router to help stimulate and support other device makers to build on top of eero.
In practical terms, the feature today won't change your specific connectivity experience. However, in the future, eero could be used to extend the effective range of other Thread products (for example, a Nest door/window sensor in a detached shed might not be able to connect directly with the Nest Thread router such as the thermostat). As the gateway/border router, eero can also directly apply features such as our eero Plus digital security on top of Thread since it's natively IP based.
We're also committed to making sure customers receive as much longterm value from the hardware we include in our products as possible. This is why we invested in a multi-protocol BLE/Thread/ZigBee solution and may consider supporting those other protocols in the future.