This Wi-Fi Router Company Is Making Moves To Dominate The Smart Home Sector

This Wi-Fi Router Company Is Making Moves To Dominate The Smart Home Sector
Design

Eero is unveiling new hardware, a subscription service and a bet on a rising internet-of-things technology

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 3 july 2017

Wi-Fi company Eero, one of the first startups to help popularize the mesh network trend, recently announced the launch of new hardware alongside a subscription service in a bid to differentiate itself from its competition. The plan, dubbed Eero Plus, will reportedly cost either $10 a month or $100 per year and include device security and content filtering to start, with additional features rolling out in future updates.

On the hardware side, the San Francisco-based startup’s next generation of routers will start at $299 for an entry-level system, which promises better coverage than previous models. Additional ‘Beacon’ modules, which plug directly into an outlet, stack on 20% to 30% more bandwidth and coverage range, and double as night-lights that turn on automatically when the lights go off. The company will sell an additional package of one main router and two beacons for $399, a ‘Pro’ package containing three routers and no beacons, and individual beacons and routers for $149 and  $199, respectively.

Rather than competing on the system’s cost alone, however—which, given the technology, is priced quite well—the devices will support a budding network protocol known as Thread, which marks the company’s first foray into the Internet of Things puzzle. Seeing Wi-Fi as building blocks to a smarter home, Eero’s co-founder and CEO Nick Weaver told Fast Company, “You look at where the home is going, every home is going to need great connectivity, and ultimately every home’s going to need to have an operating system, something to power all the different experiences, and our view is, those two things should be the same.”

Similar to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and Z-Wave, Thread is a means for devices to communicate wirelessly throughout the home. Unlike those aforementioned, well-established names, Thread has no adoption among device makers right now—but what it does have is potential. Weaver made the case for Thread, arguing that, despite its limited use in the ecosystem, it will prove the best option due to its low power consumption, encryption by default and scalability once more device makers jump aboard the soon-to-be bandwagon.

In particular, what sets Thread apart from the rest of the bunch is the fact that it is decentralized, meaning that instead of converging signals in a central hub, Thread enables a scenario where any and all devices can partake in computing and decision-making on behalf of another device. The implications for Eero as one of the first adopters of the technology are huge; specifically, the startup has the potential to shift its focus from hardware to software (as it has been), eventually manifesting as a distributed computing platform. With the router pods augmenting the computing power of the distributed network, the fully fleshed-out vision entails a smart home that is significantly cheaper, faster and less dependent on the internet for its core faculties.

“I think what you’re going to see between now and the end of the year is what we like to call a trickle, turning into a creek, turning into a river,” said Grant Erickson, who serves as President of Thread Group.

Eero

Wi-Fi company Eero, one of the first startups to help popularize the mesh network trend, recently announced the launch of new hardware alongside a subscription service in a bid to differentiate itself from its competition. The plan, dubbed Eero Plus, will reportedly cost either $10 a month or $100 per year and include device security and content filtering to start, with additional features rolling out in future updates.

+Design
+Fast Company
+home
+internet of things
+IoT
+retail
+Smart homes
+technology
+thread
+Wi-Fi

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