Google Announces LoWPAN/Thread Support in Android Things DP 6.1

Not to be confused with LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network), LoWPAN (Low Power Wireless Personal Area Network) solutions are designed for peer-to-peer usage on constrained battery-powered devices using standard procotols like HTTP and CoAP.

Based on 6LoWPAN and 802.15.4, Thread is one of those LoWPAN standards,  and Google has just added API support for configuring and managing LoWPAN as a part of Android Things Developer Preview 6.1, including networking support for Thread.

Google explains “these types of low-power connectivity solutions enable Android Things devices to perform edge computing tasks, aggregating data locally from nearby devices to make critical decisions without a constant connection to cloud services”. You can read LoWPAN API guide to learn more details on building your own apps to create and join local mesh networks, but to quickly get started OpenThread running on Nordic Semi RF52840-PDK is recommended.

nRF52840-PDK (Preview Development Kit) – Click to Enlarge

You’ll first need to install the firmware and LowWPAN NCP user driver as explained in Github, and then download LoWPAN sample app using Android Things console. For other changes in Android Things Developer Preview 6.1 read the release notes.

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what is the range like?