Nest opens platform to third party developers

Steven Loeb · June 24, 2014 · Short URL:

Developers can now create apps that connect Nest to other devices, including cars and lightbulbs

The idea of a connected home, where different devices connect and work together to automatically adjust to a person's preferred settings, is a pretty awesome idea. And, even if it still feels far away, we are getting closer and closer to it becoming a reality. 

Google's Nest has opened its platform to outside app developers for the first time, the companyannounced on Monday night.

Through the Nest Developer Program, third-party app developers will now have the ability to create apps that center around Nest’s existing products, which include a smart thermostat, smoke/carbon monoxide detector and, most recently, security cameras. Those devices and apps will be able to interact with Nest products and create, in essence, a smart home.

The idea, the company said, is to "go beyond simply linking and remote controlling the devices in your home," and instead to create a home that is "more conscious and thoughtful," Matt Rogers, Nest's founder and head of engineering, said in a blog post.

"What we’re doing is making it possible for your Nest devices to securely interact with the things you already use every day. Things like lights, appliances, fitness bands and even cars," he said. "Because when we make connections between these different parts of your life, we can create personalized experiences that do even more to keep you comfortable and safe."

Ultimately, the company believes that that will allow Nest customers so save energy.

The company already has a number of partners, or as it calls them "Works with Nest integrations." They include:

  • LIFX lightbulbs, which can now work with Nest Protect to pulse red in an emergency. The bulbs can also automatically turn on and off to give the appearance that someone is home when the homeowner is on vacation
  • Mercedes-Benz cars can let Nest know what time the person will arrive home so the thermostat can start heating or cooling.
  • Whirlpool customers who are signed up for Rush Hour Rewards with a participating energy provider, can have Nest let Whirlpool know when an energy rush hour is about to happen. That will allow the washer or dryer to delay the start of the cycle until the rush hour is over.
  • Jawbone UP24 band can tell when you wake up and sync with Nest Learning Thermostats to knows what temperature user  like their home to be in the morning when they get up.

"With our tools and your ideas, the possibilities are endless. This is the future. And we can’t wait to build it with you," said Rogers.

This is particularly exciting development for Nest, and the future of the Internet of Things, a category that General Electric wrote could be worth $10 to 15 trillion by 2030. It is one that a survey from Zebra Technologies in October found was already in place in 15% of organizations around the world, and one that 53% of those organizations surveyed planned to implement within the next year.

Nest is one of the best known companies in the space, and that put it into a good position to be the company that create the platform for the connected home. It also helps to have Google's resources behind it; the company was picked up by Google for $3.2 billion in January.

Originally just a smart thermostat company, Nest has been branching out. it debuted new carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, also known as Nest Protect devices, in October. Earlier this week the company bought  video-monitoring and security startup Dropcam for $555 million.

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