You could soon see a ton of new devices on the market that work with Nest. The company is opening up the OpenThread code to now be open-source. OpenThread is basically how Nest and Nest-related devices connect within the home, and by opening up the code for the network, developers don’t have to create their own network.
OpenThread is Nest’s customized version of Thread, a protocol developed with the likes of Samsung and Qualcomm back in 2014 with the rationale that systems like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth simply weren’t good enough. Open sourcing it is basically aimed at accelerating the Internet of Things market and taking on the likes of Amazon, which has found some serious success in devices like the Echo. As of now, developers can simply head to GitHub and download the OpenThread code to use in their products.
Once a device has been built using OpenThread, the Thread Group will approve certification for the device, giving developers access to the network and cloud. Ideally, this should help developers build devices without having to worry about creating their own networks.
Of course, just using OpenThread doesn’t necessarily mean that devices will play nice with Nest and Nest-built products. Developers will still need to join the Works with Nest program if they want their devices to integrate with Nest beyond simply using the same network.
Nest seems to be taking the same route Android did when it was first launched. Theoretically, by making the code open-source, the company should attract more hardware developers to create devices for an ecosystem led by Nest itself. Nest was once a clear leader in the smart home market, but over the past few years it seems to have somewhat lost that. As mentioned, Amazon has found huge success with the Echo connected speaker — perhaps Amazon’s success is owed to the number of services that are compatible with the Echo. If Nest can achieve the same level of compatibility, it could easily take on Amazon and forge a smart home ecosystem to be reckoned with.