Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Nest today announced a game-changing step that may help the thermostat and smoke alarm manufacturer to establish itself as a dominant force in the race to turn the smart home and the internet of things into a reality — giving Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other competitors a lot more to worry about.
In a post on the company’s blog, Nest today announced that apps and devices by other developers and product manufacturers will be able to access and interact with Nest’s thermostat and smoke alarm through the Nest Developer Program. Outside apps and devices will have access to the information that Nest uses sensors to detect, and the connected services will be able to share information with each other, using Nest as a hub, or an operating system of sorts. However, Forbes reports that third parties will not have access to the motion sensors on the thermostat and smoke alarm. Nest co-founder Matt Rogers wrote on the company’s blog:
“Other companies make digital control panels and apps that let you turn things on and off around the house. But we want to go beyond simply linking and remote controlling the devices in your home. What we’re doing is making it possible for your Nest devices to securely interact with the things you already use every day. Things like lights, appliances, fitness bands, and even cars. Because when we make connections between these different parts of your life, we can create personalized experiences that do even more to keep you comfortable and safe.”
Nest was found by Rodgers and former Apple executive Tony Fadell, and was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in January. Last week, Nest signed an agreement to acquire Dropcam for $555 million, and at that time said that it wouldn’t share customer data recorded by Dropcam with anyone, including Google, as reported by Wall St. Cheat Sheet yesterday. It’s so far unclear if third-party apps and devices will receive access to Dropcam’s footage, but Nest says that all apps and devices will have to get user permission before sharing any data that they collect with Nest and other connected services, and that developers will be reminded of how the data that they collect can be used.
In today’s blog post, Nest also outlined the product integrations already in place for the thermostat and smoke alarm, intimating that it expects there to be many more to come. LIFX lightbulbs can pulse red to warn residents in an emergency, or can turn themselves on and off when homeowners are away on vacation to make it look like the house isn’t empty.
Mercedes-Benz cars will let Nest know when the driver will arrive home, so that Nest can begin heating or cooling the house to bring it to a comfortable temperature. Whirlpool washers and dryers will get information from energy providers to avoiding running cycles during energy “rush hours,” when electricity is in high demand. A partnership with Jawbone sends Nest information from the UP24 band, so that the system will know when the wearer wakes up and can heat or cool the house to the optimal temperature.