October 26, 2014 weblog
Google's Nest welcomes still more product partners
In the Internet scheme of things, home-automation products face a problem that vendors will need to overcome. Without common standards and partnerships, how will the gadgets talk to one another? One bit of good news is that more device makers are moving over to work with Nest, according to reports on Friday. Rich Brown of CNET commented that "the expanding roster of partners solidifies Nest's position as a smart home platform, rather than just a maker of pretty Internet-connected widgets."
The new round of partners in the Nest camp will mean that consumers will manage home settings with their smartwatch, use voice recognition to relay instructions, and get protection of a sprinkler system should danger arise, and more. Pebble smartwatch users wanting to check and control the temperature settings in their homes will be able to talk to Nest products. The product ivee for home management is a voice recognition system that will let Nest consumers adjust temperature by voice. Nest's cofounder Matt Rogers described it as a voice-activated home assistant that lets you know when a Nest "energy rush hour is about to start or finish." Life360 is a family tracking app that when linked to the Nest Thermostat can detect who is on the premises to make sure it doesn't go into Home or Away mode at the wrong time, said CNET. Nest's Rogers said knowing when everyone is gone for the day means you don't waste energy heating an empty home.
Another company stepping into the Nest ecosystem is SNUPI Technologies, a sensor and services company focused on home safety, security, and loss prevention. This is the company behind WallyHome, a wireless sensor system which detects environmental hazards by monitoring moisture, temperature and humidity changes. The WallyHome site tells visitors that "It turns out your home already has a great built-in antenna—the copper wiring in your walls. By using this wiring to create a network of sensors, Wally makes communication between you and your home easier than ever." WallyHome got its name because it uses that existing wiring within walls of the home to send an alert when a water leak is detected. Rogers said by using it, your Nest Thermostat knows not to heat or cool an unused room.
Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can also work with Nest; it can work with the Nest Protect smoke detector. "If your Protect senses smoke for an extended time period, Rachio will turn the sprinklers on," said CNET. The Rachio controller can automatically turn on the sprinklers around the house, said Rogers.
Looking at the bigger picture, CNET's Brown said, "That Nest is becoming a full-blown platform for the smart home is really no question." Still, he added, "it will also be interesting to see how it maintains tight control over its own platform as device makers feel pressure to work with multiple smart home product lines."
Rogers said on Friday that "Today Nest works with everything from apps to whole-home automation systems, light bulbs to washing machines, garage doors to the cars that park in them." Meanwhile, Nest also announced this week that it acquired Revolv, described by Re/code as a home automation hub. Nest's Rogers said, "Their experience connecting devices around the home will help us continue to grow Works with Nest and bring the conscious home to life."
Google bought Nest earlier this year.
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