Alphabet’s Google announced it has opened up its Internet of Things (IoT) protocol for its Nest systems, as competition with Amazon for smart home market share heats up.
As reported by the Motley Fool, Google launched its first open-source foray for Nest’s Thread protocol, which paves the way for better connectivity between IoT devices from different manufacturers and between devices and the cloud.
“As a company with a long-standing history of actively supporting and contributing to open technologies, OpenThread allows us to work with other like-minded corporations and individuals to deliver a best-in-class implementation of Thread that can be widely used for the advancement of a connected and secure home,” the company said in a statement.
Potential Nest revenue loss not a big deal
Nest is a relatively tiny subsidiary of Google, and therefore Motley Fool suggests that making its Thread protocol open-source won’t substantially change the company’s revenues.
However, the launch of OpenThread could enable Google to take on competition from Amazon’s successful Echo speaker. Google appears to be following the lead of Amazon, which previously opened up Echo’s virtual assistant Alexa to work seamlessly with other IoT devices.
Echo has proven popular with consumers, expanding well beyond its initial use as a hands-free audio speaker into a smart home hub that uses Alexa to control hundreds of apps and other devices.
Whether Nest’s adoption of an open source approach allows it to snag some of the hotly contested smart home market from Echo remains to be seen. But there are concerns that it may turn out to be just another pivot in a long line of Google IoT initiatives and protocols, like the abandoned Android@Home project, that ends up leaving its smart home strategy seem even murkier than before.