Nest smart thermostat opens up its platform to developers

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Nest, the smart thermostat and smoke alarm system that was recently acquired by Google has announced that it is opening up its systems to developers – which could lead to tighter integration with many other technologies.

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The company claims that 5000 developers have already expressed an interest in the “Works with Nest” programme. They will be able to get access to the Nest API so they can build apps that can securely control Nest. For example, developers could build programmes that crank up the heat on your way home by monitoring your GPS coordinates (a bit like Tado can).

This massively increases the possibilities of what the device is capable of – and apparently the following integrations have already been signed up. Here’s a long explanation from the press release:

IFTTT – Create your own connections with one simple statement: “If This Then That.” For example, “If my Nest Protect detects smoke, then send a text message to my neighbors.”

Jawbone – Nest knows which temperature you like and the Jawbone UP24 band can tell when you wake up. Working together, Nest will start to heat up or cool down the home before you even step out of bed.

LIFX – If Nest Protect detects elevated smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) levels, LIFX light bulbs can flash red to let you know there might be danger and help signal those who are hearing impaired. And when you’re on vacation and your Nest Thermostat is in Away mode, LIFX can make it look as if someone’s home by randomly turning on and off lights throughout the house.

Logitech – With the press of a button, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate universal remote can dim your lights, turn on your TV and start a movie. Now, it can also set the temperature on your Nest Thermostat, all from the comfort of your couch.

Mercedes-Benz – Your car can tell Nest when you’ll be home so your thermostat can start heating or cooling at exactly the right time. You don’t end up wasting energy when you’re not home and you’re comfortable the moment you walk in the door. You can also safely check on the status of your thermostat while driving.

Whirlpool – If your Nest Thermostat notices you’re away, it can have your Whirlpool washer and dryer keep clothes fresh and wrinkle-free when the cycle ends. The dryer can also switch into a longer, more energy efficient cycle when you’re away. And if you’re enrolled in Rush Hour Rewards with a participating energy provider, Nest can let Whirlpool know when an energy rush hour is about to happen, and your washer or dryer will delay the start of the cycle until the rush hour is over.

Additional integrations launching this fall include:

Chamberlain – Open your garage with Chamberlain, LiftMaster or most brands of garage door openers when you arrive, and Chamberlain MyQ can tell Nest you’re home. Close it on your way out, and your thermostat can go into Away mode so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty home.

Google – Just speak a command, “OK Google. Set Nest to 75 degrees,” and your Nest Thermostat will do as you say. And with Google Now, you can be on your way home, and your thermostat will start heating or cooling before you get there.

The thing to remember with this news is that, most importantly, Google owns Nest now – and this announcement appears to be the foundation of its own “Connected Home” platform to rival the recently announced Apple HomeKit. Don’t be surprised if we soon see Google announce a “Google Home” platform that draws all of these devices together.

But for now, this is merely a tiny glimpse at the future – it’ll be interesting to see what developers come up with.

James O’Malley