Mesh WiFi router company Eero wants to provide an easy way for consumers to connect and connect with all the smart devices in their home. As it looks to build more intelligence around how those devices interact, the company has acquihired the team behind smart home management app Thington.
Launched in 2015, Thington was founded by Dopplr founder Matt Biddulph and former Yahoo Brickhouse head of product Tom Coates.
With an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors that include Ray Ozzie, Stewart Butterfield, Eric Wahlforss, Joi Ito, Marko Ahtisaari, Saul Klein, Loic Le Meur, Matt Rolandson and Samantha Tripodi, they hoped to create a way to help consumers manage the large — and growing — number of connected devices consumers were adding to their homes.
To do that, last year Coates and Biddulph launched the Thington Concierge — which was a chatbot-based home AI app. The app allowed users to control the IoT devices like Philips Hue light bulbs, Nest smart thermostats and smoke alarms and WeMo light switches with a conversational UI.
Thington has already messaged users to let them know the app would be shutting down in August. But as part of Eero, the team could continue their work on making the smart home more smart.
Meanwhile, Eero gets two very talented product people who have already been working on a very difficult problem that gets to the heart of its business. (Eero confirmed Coates and Biddulph have joined the company, but declined to comment beyond that.)
When Eero was previewing its new Beacon hardware to me ahead of launch, founder and CEO Nick Weaver talked a lot about building a whole-home OS that developers can build applications on top of.
“Once everything in the home is connected, that home will need an operating system,” Weaver told me about a month and a half ago. Considering all those devices in Eero households will be connecting through its routers, the company sees an opportunity to help consumers manage them.
Eero is already experimenting with software services that run on top of its routers, including the Plus subscription service it rolled out to give customers more security and control of their networks. One could easily see them venturing into providing tools for better managing smart home devices next.