Tasks such as changing temperature on your thermostat, turning a light off, making a cup of coffee and many more things are becoming apparently closer thanks to Google recently acquiring a company called Nest Labs (for a measly $3.2 Billion - which I’m sure they found down the back of their sofa). In short this means that Google now has access to Nest Labs’ Thermostat - a nifty piece of gadgetry that allows you to change the temperature in your house wirelessly through your smart phone. Not that impressive? OK - well it also has the ability to adjust to your 'favourite temperature' and can automatically adjust the temperature in your house without human input - still not that impressed!? OK - what if I told you that the Nest Thermostat could be the centre of a network of devices in your home, devices that would be able to open doors, turn off lights, make you a coffee or even run you a bath before you get home? It also allows you to measure how efficient you are with your energy usage and show you how to save money… are you convinced? It's pretty impressive huh?
Nest has recently has put together a campaign that is trying to promote products that will work with its Thermostat, they call this “works with Nest” (I wonder how long it took them to come up with the name??). At the moment there's only a few products that have this certification, these include:- Google, Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone, Whirlpool, LIFX, IFTTT and Logitech. There'll also be many in the near future due to Nest releasing a development kit for companies to produce more “works with Nest” products.
Take a few of the above for example - 'Jawbone' is a product that will tell Nest when you have fallen asleep or when you wake up, allowing you to automate tasks according to your sleeping pattern. In newer Mercedez-Benz cars there is a dashboard computer called the 'Drive Kit Plus', this bit of tech is like a 'super sat nav', it allows you to connect your iPhone, access social media, use Siri, access Google Street View, internet radio and more - but most importantly, it has the ability to connect to the Nest Thermostat. This means that your car will be able to tell your Thermostat when you’ve left to go to work or if your returning home, allowing the Thermostat to perform tasks around the house, such as alter the temperature and all of the neat things we discussed before.
There's a number of things Nest and compatible products can work to do together e.g. send a text to a neighbour if Nest has detected any danger such as a break-in or fire, automate the turning your lights on or off and even set your washing machine or dryer to eco-mode whilst you are not in the house.
The eventual idea of Nest is that all of the electrical goods in your household will all be linked, monitored and controllable through the Nest Thermostat. People could eventually have the perfect bath ready for them when they get home from work, coffee made for them when they open their eyes, the weekly shopping calculated and delivered based on what your low on in your cupboards.
I think Nest could be to be one of the first mainstream devices that help push us into the next phase of installing tech in our homes to automate simple jobs - but could equally be another craze that never takes off. If you had a Nest Thermostat installed in your house, what would you want it to do?