Google’s decision to spend $3.2 billion on Nest Labs last year was more than just purchasing a company that made a name for itself by delivering cool Wi-Fi connected thermostats, plus smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Presumably Google was buying into Nest’s longer-term vision for what Nest refers to as the “thoughtful home.”
Nest has now outlined more of that vision, built around tools aimed at developers, and a new online Works with Nest store to help consumers find Nest-compatible products, from smart door locks to lights. The store opens in November.
Nest says that more than 11,000 developers have accessed its tools to connect with Nest products through the cloud – and 1 in 8 Nest homes are using a Works with Nest integration.
It is opening up its so-called Nest Weave technical protocols to third parties. Weave had previously only worked with Nest’s own products.
The technology enables low-power devices in the home to communicate with each other securely and with no lag time, Nest says, even if the Wi-Fi goes down or is out of range, or one of the other devices in the Nest network crashes. And you can set up and control such products through the Nest app on your smartphone.
Nest is also letting third parties integrate their products with the Nest Cam security camera that Nest unveiled in June.
For example, if someone were to come through the first door protected by a smart lock, that could automatically trigger Nest Cam to capture a video.
One such partner is Philips, maker of the Philips Hue smart lights. If Nest Cam senses motion when no one is home, it can tell the Hue lights to automatically switch on.
Another partner is Mimo, whose smart onesie and baby monitor promise to work in tandem with Nest Cam to alert mom and dad when the baby is stirring.
Meanwhile, the Linus smart door lock from Yale will be the first third-party device maker to leverage Nest Weave. This connected residential lock will let you check if your front door is open or closed through the Nest app and set up different passwords (with different security privileges) for members of your family and visitors (no keys are used). Linus can also send safety and security alerts. Yale hasn’t announced pricing, and the product isn’t coming out until 2016.
Another smart door lock maker, August, is also working with Nest, as are such partners as Skybell, Petnet, GE, Tyco and Earth Networks, the company behind the WeatherBug app.
Nest vice president of engineering Matt Rogers says that consumers need not spend huge amounts to outfit their homes. You can add smart products over time as needed.
“You don’t want every app to know what is happening every time,” he says. “Your lock doesn’t need to know your energy usage, and your dishwasher doesn’t need to know if you’re home or not.”