Google constantly stays at the forefront of technology, and it seems their home automation project, Nest, is no different. The company has just announced that it will be integrating its technology with a raft of new partners.
Nest Labs launched its “Works with Nest” developer program around five months ago. At the time, partnerships with big names such as Mercedes Benz, Logitech and Whirlpool were already announced; and the firm’s developer program is set up to connect third-party technologies to Nest’s products, rather than the company needing to build a large number of their own.
Over the past year the firm has built up a group of devices that can function in tandem with those it sells. This strategy makes good use of the Internet of Things – the “interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure.”
The developer program has recently made its list of five new third-party partnerships public. The expansion of the “Works with Nest” program does cement the smart thermostat’s place as a comprehensive smart home platform.
Here is a rundown on the five diverse new partnerships recently confirmed:
The Pebble Smartwatch connects wearers to their Apple or Android smartphone via wireless Bluetooth. This means that users can check emails, SMS messages, apps, and calendar entries, and play music via sites like iTunes or Spotify. Pebble’s app, Leaf, is now going to be supported by Nest. This will allow wearers of the smart device to monitor and adjust the temperature in their homes via their Pebble watches. Using the Nest Learning Thermostat, users will be able to adjust temperature settings as required, plus set home and away modes.
ivee Sleek is voice-recognition software that allows owners to manage and control their home’s connected devices. This is done by speaking commands, rather than typing them. Ivee also lets users set reminders, search for Internet content, and be woken up by an alarm. This voice-controlled home assistant is now joining the Nest family. The integration with Nest’s Learning Thermostat means that buyers can adjust the temperature in their home via voice control. Users can command their ivee Sleek to set the Nest thermostat to 25 degrees, for example. This function is sure to be helpful in winter, when owners of the software need not get out of bed to switch the heat on.
Rachio’s smart sprinkler controller, Iro, looks after garden-watering schedules automatically. The device adjusts for changes in weather and seasonality and helps homeowners use as little water as possible while still keeping their landscaped yards looking good. Iro is set to soon connect with the Nest Protect smoke detector. This means that if the Nest Protect senses smoke for an extended time period, the sprinklers in the yard will be automatically switched on. This will help stop a fire from spreading further.
Created by SNUPI, WallyHome is a leak, humidity and temperature detection system. Wally notices if a home has any water leaks, or if there are changes in humidity and/or temperature that the homeowner should know about. The system alerts users to leaks or variations via wireless sensors that are placed around the home.
These sensors are then connected to the network using the special Wally app. SNUPI’s system will now be paired with Nest’s Learning Thermostat. Normally the Nest product will read the temperature in its surroundings and adjust as needed. Once integrated with WallyHome though, users will be able to glean information on the temperature in other rooms of the house. WallyHome’s sensors will give the Nest Thermostat remote readings that purchasers can access through the app.
Life360 is a free smartphone family tracking app that keeps families and friends connected around the world. The system provides users with the ability to set up private “Circles” of family members of close friends. People within the Circle can be messaged all at one time, and can “check in” when they arrive at their location. This means that parents, for example, don’t need to text or call their children to ensure they made it home or to school safely. It also means that spouses know when their partner has left the office for the day, or that they’re at the shopping centre and can pick up some milk before they leave. Once integrated with the Life360 app, Nest’s Thermostat will know when the last person has left home for the day. It will also be able to tell if anyone is on the premises, and thereby ensure it does not go into Home or Away mode at an inappropriate time.
It seems that Google’s Nest is progressing well as a home automation leader, especially with the announcement of these new partnerships. The company is choosing to keep the interactions between devices quite hands-off and controlled, with basic integration only. The idea is to choose partners and products carefully, with the hope that the integrations will be targeted enough to keep consumers happy.
Nest Labs believes that the limited interaction will keep things easy to use for customers, and reduce potential errors. The strategy should ensure the technology works properly and doesn’t get too complicated too quickly. While this may prove to limit functionality more than some users would like, the company now has over 4,000 developers in its platform, so further expansion is sure to happen.