With Apple announcing its HomeKit connected home initiative earlier this month, it was only a matter of time before Google responded with its own plans for one of its latest acquisitions, Nest. But what exactly is Google Nest and how could it change your life?
1) GOOGLE WANT TO CONTROL YOUR HOME
Google bought Nest earlier for this year for a pricey $3.2 billion (£1.8 billion) despite the company only having two relatively niche products on sale: a smart thermostat and smoke alarm. The reason? To control your home. Google boss Erik Schmidt described the acquisition at the time as an ‘important bet’ on intelligent devices for the home that were more useable than those currently on the market, many of which are currently incompatible with one another.
2) NEST WILL ALLOW YOU TO SPEAK TO YOUR DEVICES
Nest devices can already be controlled by a tablet or smart phone. The next step is voice control. You might feel like a bit of an idiot, but you will soon be able to tell your heating to warm things up a bit or your cooling systems to cool it down. But will you be able to ask it ‘how many chucks does a wood chucker chuck’ like you can with Apple’s Siri? Let’s wait and see.
3) PRODUCTS WILL BE MARKED ‘WORKS WITH NEST’
Nest is opening up its API (Application Programming Interface) – the code that controls the software – so that developers can work on different applications for different products. Those products will then be branded ‘Works With Nest’ so you know they can talk to one another. However, Google has apparently put security measures in place to stop rogue developers from being able to hack into your home. Phew.
4) JAWBONE’S UP ONE OF THE FIRST ‘NEST’ PRODUCTS
And there you were thinking the Jawbone Up was just a pretty wristband for tracking your health and wellbeing intelligently. Well that’s about to change. Nest’s co-founder Matt Rogers has announced that Up could now be used to detect when the owner wakes up in order to trigger the home’s heating system automatically. Isn’t that just a little bit too scary?
5) ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NEST?
A load more of manufacturers have signed up to Nest, including Mercedes Benz, Logitech, Whirlpool, the If This Then That (IFTTT ) app and LFIX. For example, LFIX’s wi-fi enabled LED lightbulbs will flash red if Nest’s smoke and carbon monoxide detector is triggered (handy for the hearing impaired). With high end Mercedes models the connected home will be able to detect when the owner’s car is getting near and automatically activate the home’s heating and cooling systems so it’s the right temperature when you return!