Google’s Nest Opens API To Control Home Devices

Google extends Nest with a developer programme for third party devices

Google-owned Nest has launched a developer programme designed to make its Nest smart thermostat a control centre for consumer devices both inside and outside the home.

Five thousand developers have expressed an interest in the scheme, Nest says, with companies including Whirlpool, Jawbone and Mercedes among the first to integrate their products to the “Works With Nest” scheme. Promising newcomers can get funding through a “Thoughtful Things” fund set up with venture capital partners, and the Nest group will host a developer session on Thursday at Google’s I/O event.

smart home meter wi-fi energy green network wireless © Horoscope ShutterstockSharing the Nest

In a release which talks about “conscious homes” which are “aware”, Matt Rogers, vice president of engineering at Nest said:  “Our goal has always been to bring this kind of thoughtfulness to the rest of your home and life – and that’s what the Nest Developer Program is all about.”

The first Works With Nest product links include a tie-up that turns on home heating when a Jawbone Up fitness band detects the user has woken up. Some Mercedes-Benz cars will be able to tell Nest when the user is nearly home.

Whirlpool washers and dryers will be able to switch to longer or shorter cycles depending on where the owner is, or what the current energy tariff is. Other integrations include lightbulbs from Lifx that will change colour if there is a fire, and links to a universal remote control from Logitech.

The group also promises more intuitive commands, so users can set up “if this then that” commands, for instance, send a text message to neighbours if the Nest alarm detects smoke.

Rogers also addressed the obvious fear this development will raise in people’s minds – of rogue developers creating malicious apps and integrations that could harm users. He told the BBC that Google would be watching what developers are up to, and will clamp down on any rogues:  “We still have the ability to deactivate their accounts and basically delete all their integrations,” he said.

Google bought Nest early in 2014, and the announcement of APIs and a developer programme, makes it is clear the division is the centre of Google’s “Internet of Things” strategy.

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