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Google's Nest Labs Reaches Out to Developers

Google's Nest Labs Reaches Out to Developers
By Barry Levine

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While all the interactions outlined by Nest are initially directed at the home, they all could -- and probably will -- apply to businesses as well, since businesses also use thermostats and lighting. Google "is seriously investing in this space, and probably thinks it will be the Next Big Thing, second only to wearables," said analyst Al Hilwa.
 


The Internet of Things may have taken a significant step forward. On Tuesday, Google-owned Nest Labs announced a new Developer Program and API for connecting home appliances and software to its products -- an ecosystem that could apply to businesses as well.

The Palo Alto, California-based company, which had focused on developing an intelligent thermostat prior to the Google acquisition in January, said its new program is intended to have lighting, appliances, fitness bands and even cars connect securely with Nest products.

The API can access Home and Away states, smoke and carbon monoxide alerts, and peak energy rush hour events, and the Developer Program supports iOS, Android and Web interactions. Additionally, Google Ventures and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers are offering financing for Nest-related projects.

IFTTT, Mercedes-Benz

Matt Rogers, Nest founder and its vice president of engineering, said in a statement that the company's goal "has always been to bring this kind of thoughtfulness to the rest of your home and life -- and that's what the Nest Developer Program is all about."

The company has already started integrations with a range of other companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool, Jawbone and LIFX.

An integration with task-automation app IFTTT, for instance, allows a user to create an if/then connection such as: "If my Nest Protect detects smoke, then send a text message to my neighbors." LIFX light bulbs flash red if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected, and they can randomly be turned on and off at time intervals when the occupants are on vacation.

Mercedes-Benz owners can check on the status of their home thermostat as they're driving, as the Nest thermostat will increase heating or cooling of a home according to when the occupants will be home for the day. The Nest thermostat can also tell the Whirlpool dryer to switch to a longer, more energy-efficient cycle when the owner is out.

If the home is part of a Rush Hour Rewards program, which offers discounts to cut back on electricity during peak hours, Nest will let Whirlpool know when the rush hour is about to begin so washer/dryer cycles can be delayed until it's over.

Garage Door Openers

Other integrations are in the works, and are expected to be released by the fall. They include garage door openers such as Chamberlain or LiftMaster, which can let the Nest thermostat know you're home when it opens and that you've left home when it closes. Parent company Google has integrated voice commands for Nest into Android phones, and Google Now can let Nest know when you're on the way home. (continued...)

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Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Jeff:

Posted: 2014-06-25 @ 11:48am PT
What about Honeywell and Apple?

GoogleIsTheNewMicrosoft:

Posted: 2014-06-24 @ 2:50pm PT
Google has its nose in already too many things. I won't buy Nest products unless I can be 100% sure that they do not connect with and report back to Google.



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