Nest ready to control your smart home, invites developers to join in

By Robin Parrish, Tech Times | June 24, 6:06 PM

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Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Labs has launched a new home automation network protocol called the Thread. The goal of the industry group is to standardize the protocol and bring more members to build a new ecosystem.
(Photo : Nest Labs)

In September 2013, Nest Labs announced plans to release an SDK for developers to integrate third-party smart products with Nest devices like its Learning Thermostat and Protect smoke alarm.

At the time, Nest began secretly working with a few handpicked business partners to show off what developers could do with these new tools. The first fruits of their labors have been unveiled, and Nest is ready to open up the SDK to others.

The first partners of the Nest Developer Program are Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool, Logitech, Jawbone, LIFX, and IFTTT, with more coming this fall from Google and Chamberlain.

Mercedes-Benz offers the option to have your vehicle notify Nest when you'll be arriving at home, so your thermostat can make your house just the right temperature when you walk through the door. Since Nest can tell when you're not home, Whirlpool integrates its washers and dryers with Nest by timing completion of a cycle for when you arrive at home, so your clothes will be fresh and wrinkle-free at the moment you need them. Dryers will also use a longer, more energy-efficient cycle when you're away.

The LIFX smart LED lightbulb works with both Nest Protect and the Nest Thermostat to help keep your home safe. For example, if Nest Protect detects elevated smoke or carbon monoxide levels, LIFX bulbs can flash red to alert you of the danger. This also works as a perfect solution for the hearing impaired. If your Nest Thermostat is in Away mode, say for your family vacation, it will tell LIFX to make it look like you're still home going about your business by randomly turning lights on and off throughout the house.

Jawbone's UP24 band knows when you wake up, so it can tell your thermostat to start heating or cooling the house so that it's just right when you get out of bed in the morning. Popular web app IFTTT ("If This Then That"), automates tasks both online and with smart devices. In probably the most flexible integration with Nest, IFTTT can do a variety of things like text a neighbor if Nest Protect detects smoke. Logitech's Harmony Ultimate universal remote will now control your Nest thermostat's temperature settings.

Chamberlain is working to integrate its garage door openers with Nest, so that it can tell Nest when you've arrived home or left. Google is giving Nest voice commands as well as integration with Google Now for location-based automation.

To become a "Works with Nest" partner, interested developers can sign up online for free and use developer tools for iOS, Android, and the Internet. All communications between Nest devices and third-party services are encrypted, so intruders can't hack their way into your home.

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