Nest Debuts API to Further the Connected Home

Eric Zeman
Jun. 24 2014, 03:06PM EDT

Nest, owned by Google and maker of the smart thermostat by the same name, today announced a new API and a "Works With Nest" program to promote the connected home. The API will let developers tap into certain aspects of Nest's smart thermostat and pave the way for all sorts of new interactions in the smart home of the future. 

The Nest API works with both the company's thermostat and smoke detector. It provides access to the Home and Away states of each product, and can provide information about smoke or CO2 alerts, as well as peak usage details and energy consumption. Nest believes the API will power a whole new way for people to interact with their homes and the devices that control them. 

The Nest Developer Program provides all the tools and support app writers need to build Android, iOS and web apps. Nest's API uses Firebase protocols to communicate with Nest in real time. Nest uses industry standards — OAuth 2.0 and SSL — for authorization and authentication. The company says it has API documentation, code samples and testing tools at the ready to help developers get started. Nest is relying on the Stack Overflow community for support. 

A number of companies have already voiced support for Nest and the new API. For example, Jawbone has put the API to use in order to tie Nest to its UP24 fitness band. The UP24 knows when the owner wakes up and can trigger the Nest thermostat to begin heating or cooling the home accordingly. Chamberlain is planning a similar connection between its garage doors and Nest. Homeowners will be able to set their Nest thermostats to kick on when the garage door opens or to go off when the garage door closes in order to maximize energy savings. Other initial partners include Logitech, Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool, LIFX and IFTTT. 

Since Nest is owned by Google, you can be certain Google will participate, too. The Works With Nest program will work with Google. In fact, Google plans to add Nest support to Google Now. In short, smartphone and tablet owners will be able say "OK Google" to their devices and then interact with their Nest thermostat. Google said this level of interaction won't be available until the fall. 

Nest has a new series of websites set up for developers, who can download and use the API beginning today. 

Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.

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