Google’s Nest To Become The “Smarthouse” Hub

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By opening up the Nest Learning Thermostat, other apps and devices will be able to communicate with the thermostat and the Nest smoke detector.

Nest was founded by former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive Tony Fadell and was purchased by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NSADAQ:GOOG) in January of this year for $3.2 billion. Nest in turn, acquired DropCam for $555 million last year in order to further its “smart home” revolution. The video monitoring service was purchased in order to gain information about people’s behaviors in their homes.

Nest’s privacy concerns

By opening up its products to developers, Nest was very careful with regards to privacy. “We’ve been building it for about a year,” says co-founder Matt Rogers. “One reason it’s taken us this long to build is we realized we had to be incredibly transparent with our user about data privacy.”

Nest is pitching its new product that utilizes Google Now as a means to “create a more conscious and thoughtful home.” Numerous companies have signed on to the “Works with Nest” program including Logitech, Chamberlain, Whirlpool and LIFX.


Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) for example, will utilize the Nest thermostat to learn that the homeowner is away and will switch a connected dryer to the “Fan Fresh” mode so the dryer’s cycle doesn’t end and cause clothes to be wrinkled when the owner of the house returns home. Mercedes-Benz is also on-board and plans to communicate with the thermostat when the driver of the car is approaching the house so that it can be cooled or heated prior to the homeowner’s arrival.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NSADAQ:GOOG) is also working with IFTTT to program smart switches for the Nest Protect and Thermostat. Homeowner could enlist the Nest Protect to contact neighbors via text message in the event that it detects smoke or send a direct message via Twitter to the homeowner when someone is messing with the Thermostat.

Wearable tech company Jawbone is also planning on working with Nest.

“Integrating with Nest is brilliant for our users because it creates a seamless experience for our users,” Jawbone’s Jim Godfrey told Matt Burns of TechCrunch. Travis Bogard, Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, added that “It’s based on great technology and two sets of insight and data — Nest and Jawbone — combined to create a great experience.”

While it may seem strange to use a thermostat as a hub, the Nest Thermostat is not your average thermostat as it includes a motion detector and Wi-Fi. It also learns user behavior and stores that data.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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