Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Software Technology

Nest Announces New Smart Home API 38

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-forward-to-a-cloud-based-toaster dept.
mpicpp writes "Today, in advance of Google I/O, Nest has officially announced a new developer program and API that will allow other companies' smart devices to communicate with Nest's Protect smoke alarm and Learning Thermostat. Among the companies that Nest is partnering with for this initial publicity push are IFTTT, Jawbone, LIFX, Logitech, Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool, Chamberlain, and Google itself—the latter two companies will release Nest-compatible features this fall, while the others are all available today.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nest Announces New Smart Home API

Comments Filter:
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:41PM (#47312251)

    When I looked at it earlier today, it was rather lacking. No ability to set your Home or Away status and no ability to control temperatures for people who set both an upper and lower bound rather than a single temperature. Ended up being a rather disappointing update from a user's perspective. From a developer's perspective, it was pretty meh. It's just what you'd expect, and not much more.

    • I have a Carrier Infinity thermostat and you can program anything remotely as well as view all the setting and programs.

    • by ygslash (893445)
      As far as I can see, the main innovation here seems to be that Google is throwing their corporate weight at the patents that have been keeping the home automation market in a choke-hold for almost two decades.
  • If it's compatible with the iOS framework then I'll probably cave and get one.
    • HomeKit? I just Googled it and I wonder what they're going to do about the various companies called HomeKit around the world... my second result was www.homekit.co.nz

    • Meh. Both Google and Apple are in a good position to improve standards, products and especially the usability of software related to Smart Homes. But both companies are a day late and a dollar short. They are still trying to get remote control right, which is merely the first step towards a smart home, and even in that space their efforts are anything but impressive. The real challenge is to come up with a good and simple to use control center, going from remote control to true home automation. Both com
      • by plover (150551)

        I already have a Z-wave hub for interfacing with home control devices, an AssureLink hub to interface with a Craftsman device, and a Harmony hub to blink IR at the entertainment devices. The Z-wave hub sits on my network, and I can access it directly. The AssureLink hub provides an interface only via their cloud, and can be accessed either from a browser or their smartphone app. The Harmony hub supposedly is Z-wave compatible, but in reality has no external connectivity at all, and pairs only with their

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Meh. Both Google and Apple are in a good position to improve standards, products and especially the usability of software related to Smart Homes.

        So, one small step for technology ... one giant leap backwards for your privacy?

        Sorry, but no way in hell I'd trust Google with this kind of link into my home.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @11:50PM (#47312281) Homepage

    Here's the API reference. [nest.com] It doesn't let you see or do much. I though the Nest was supposed to "learn" your behavior patterns, but if it does, that info isn't exposed in the API. You can look at the temperature and heat/cool/fan status, and maybe change the setpoints. You can tell if someone is home, and when they set the time for when they were coming back.

    This isn't an API for the device. It's an API for a Google-hosted service that controls the device. Google is in total control of your home.

    • by nblender (741424)

      this is my fundamental problem with this sort of thing. You buy a smart-device and the first thing it wants is to authenticate with some cloud service... I understand it's easier to deal with firewalls and such if the device 'polls' the cloud for remote commands... But what if my home is out in the middle of the forest, miles from anything resembling internet connectivity... That's a home I want automated more than the home I sleep in the other 5 days a week.

      • by Animats (122034)

        But what if my home is out in the middle of the forest, miles from anything resembling internet connectivity... That's a home I want automated more than the home I sleep in the other 5 days a week.

        Right. Reporting is from buildings that are mostly unoccupied is really useful. Industrial facilities have used that for decades - unattended pumping stations, power substations, water level gauges, and storage buildings with air conditioning routinely phone home. They usually have very limited bandwidth - pager channels are often used. Usually, they send a message every few minutes with a few numbers and an "I'm fine" message. If there's trouble, they start sending alarm messages. This is the real, existi

    • It's an API for a Google-hosted service that controls the device.

      Apparently, its (still) amazon (that doesn't change its bad):

      $ dig home.nest.com

      [...] ;; ANSWER SECTION:
      home.nest.com. 120 IN CNAME home-hme01-production-526484131.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com.
      home-hme01-production-526484131.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 60 IN A 54.235.188.46
      home-hme01-production-526484131.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 60 IN A 184.72.232.126
      home-hme01-production-526484131.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 60 IN A 54.225.207.213

  • Who gives a shit? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AuMatar (183847)

    Its a thermostat. When I'm cold, I'll walk over and turn it up. When I'm warm, I'll walk over and turn it down. I don't need it to be internet enabled, and don't want the annoyance of some bug or exploit fiddling with it. Not everything needs to be set from your smartphone. It may make sense for a large warehouse or office building, but there's 0 point in a home device.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      While connecting it to the internet might be a mistake, your thermostat is just as bad. It is only one step above having an on/off switch on your heater. Having programmable thermostats that can be set to turn down the heat when people are asleep, or even more importantly, away at work/school has saved huge amounts of energy and money. HVAC is terribly behind the tech curve on saving even more energy and money while improving the comfort and convenience to the user. Technology that makes our lives more
      • by AuMatar (183847)

        Yeah, don't really care. The cost of heating/cooling doesn't bother me, being comfortable is more than worth. It'd end up in manual override mode over 90% of the time anyway. But my comment was more towards making it internet connected with a web API than with programming it to turn off for a few hours during work.

        • Yeah, don't really care. The cost of heating/cooling doesn't bother me...

          I think that's where others will disagree -- heating/cooling costs in the colder/hotter cities (in the US, at least) can be well into the hundreds of dollars per month. (And that doesn't include any environmental aspect, which it sounds like you don't care about either.) For some, a) saving money and b) running at a lower energy footprint is worth having an internet-connected thermostat.

          Plus, there could be small advantages to it, as well -- driving back from the airport on a winter night, you could turn

  • I would certainly hope that is their devices default. Yes, I know most people will just give whatever permissions are requested, but that would at least give a few of a chance.

  • Now hackers can focus on ONE API to place their pop-up ads inside your house, in your picture frame, on your refrigerator door. OR I can just see shady repair shops driving by your house with a device that disables your thermostat, then send someone to your door just in the nick of time, offering to fix it!

  • I've been thinking about getting a Nest, but I'm getting a bit paranoid about privacy and stuff. Are there any decent alternatives?
    • by bluelip (123578)

      DIY. Grab an Atmel AVR, some relays, and a router/AP that you can get to the serial port on and have at it. Nothing overly complicated.

      • Seconded! I did a similar thing with a little ARM board, it was a really fun project.

        I can control (on/off) household electronics via a keypad, Jabber/XMPP, shell-script, or SMS (via Google Voice's SMS email forwarding feature). Security measures are very weak (checking calling number/XMPP handle, etc. against authorized users), but hey...if someone really wants to turn on my lamp in the middle of the night, I'll just write something better =)
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      You know, a decent programmable thermostat which you can program with your schedule (mine has "Wake", "Leave", "Return", and "Sleep"), control the fan and the like isn't that expensive or difficult to use.

      Mine is also supposed to be adaptive, and learn how much it takes to change the temperature at various times of day. If the next scheduled temperature change is getting close and it's way off, it will start doing things in advance of that.

      If you really really need to do it from your smartphone, then I'm s

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @02:48AM (#47312951)

    Surprise surprise entire API controlled from Google servers.

  • People, please think before you rush to buy this stuff. I can assure you that your data WILL BE SOLD to the utilities and by government agencies to regulate you into the stone age... or the EPA will reach into your living room and "help you green the house" by switching your HVAC off. It's really dumb.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

Working...