It was only a few days ago that we reported on Google’s Nest purchase of Dropcam, furthering Google’s push into your homes. Turns out that Nest and Google have even grander plans than just Dropcam. Today Nest announced that they would be opening their platform to outside developers. Through their Nest Developer Program, they’re “working with developers all over the world to do what no one else has been able to do – create a more conscious and thoughtful home.”
Nest’s plan is to be the centre operating system controlling all devices in the household. Through Nest you will be able to communicate with devices connected to it such as a whirlpool dryer, your Mercedes Benz, or even your Logitech remote control. Google are also a partner through Google Now meaning that Google Now will be able to control your thermostat etc when it knows you are heading home. Nest will let partners link their software and applications to Nest’s thermostat, which will act as a control and information hub for devices in and around the home. In a world where fragmentation between all the different products from the various manufacturers is extensive, Nest are attempting to bring it all together. To get in first before anyone else and become the essential piece everyone must have in a connected home.
Matt Rogers, Nest co-founder and VP of engineering, says the “idea behind this system is to build seamless and practical experiences in the home and to sell more Nest gadgets at the same time.” and for the tinfoil hat people, “Nest will share limited user information with Google and other partners, and people have to opt in for each new device.”
In a home connected with Nest any connected gadget could be controlled using Nest. At this stage only the above manufacturers, LIFX (of internet connected light bulbs fame), Jawbone, garage-door-opener maker Chamberlain Group Inc. and IFTTT have come on-board but it is open to anyone. If Apple decide to play nice they could also plug in to a Nest, although I somehow doubt that will happen.
In a race to become the centrepiece of any connected home Google, through Nest, seem to be heading in the right direction. It will definitely be interesting to see where they head from here but I for one cannot wait to be able to control my entire home from my Android phone, better still have my Android phone control it for me without any interaction at all from me.
What about you? Too much reliance on technology? Are we going to create an “I, Robot”/Skynet situation? Sounds far fetched doesn’t it but think of where we are now compared with 50 years ago.