The Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest opens technology to third-party developers

Third-party developers can now get their hands on the technology behind the Google-owned smart thermostat company Nest.

Nest Labs, formed in 2011 and purchased by Google for $3.2bn (£1.8bn) earlier this year, has launched the Nest Developer Program to allow developers to link everything from lighting, to home appliances and even cars to Nest products.

The company’s two central products so far are a smart thermostat that can be controlled via a mobile device and an alarm system that also monitors carbon monoxide levels, but the firm also used today’s launch of its application programming interfaces (API) to confirm the first partners to have linked up with the company.

“The Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect alarm are already helping people save energy, stay comfortable, and improve home safety – but that’s only the beginning,” said Matt Rogers, founder and vice president of engineering.

“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. To kick off the program, we’ve worked with iconic brands like Mercedes-Benz and Whirlpool, as well as new industry leaders like Jawbone and LIFX, to build seamless, secure and practical Works with Nest experiences for the home.”

Nest said that more than 5,000 developers have already registered an interest in working with the software, including Mercedes-Benz which allows a user’s car to send a message when they begin their journey home so their thermostat can start heating or cooling accordingly.

The firm has also hooked up with parent company Google to allow users to take advantage of the search giant’s voice recognition technology to verbally change temperature. With Google Now installed on smartphones, users can do the same on their way home.

Smart light bulb manufacturer LIFX has developed a system to get its bulbs to flash red if the Nest carbon monoxide monitor detects a leak. When the Nest Thermostat is in Away mode, the lights can also make it look as if someone is home by randomly turning on and off lights throughout the house.

“When we first heard about the Nest Developer Program, we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” said Phil Bosua, LIFX founder and CEO. “Nest brings a whole other dimension to LIFX. Who would have thought by combining Nest products and LIFX products, we could help save lives?”

The Nest API allows developers to create applications across iOS, Android and the web and provides access to ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ states, smoke and carbon monoxide alerts, and information on the firm’s Rush Hour Rewards scheme, which allows thermostat users to earn money back from energy suppliers by toning down their energy use during times of peak demand.

In all instances, Nest customers must authorize a connection before any data is shared, and the firm uses industry-standard SSL for encryption to protect customer data.

More information about the Nest Developer Program is available here.

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