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Nest launches developer program to stay ahead of Apple HomeKit

Nest has launched a developer program for companies who want to connect their products and services to the growing smart home bandwagon. 

Mercedes-Benz and Jawbone are among the brands who’ve signed up for the ‘Works With Nest’ program, which will see the proximity of your car able to trigger temperature changes in temperature before you walk through the front door and as soon as you wake up. 

Perhaps taking a leaf out of Apple’s HomeKit book, Matt Rogers, Nest co-founder and head of engineering said that the idea is to give customers one secure place to control all of their connected tech. 

The Works With Nest developer program aims to put more control in your hands
The Works With Nest developer program aims to put more control in your hands

Rogers said: “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.”

While on the surface this sounds similar to what Apple wants to acheive with HomeKit, Nest is arguably ahead of HomeKit in that its already got some products in the market. 

Nest currently has two products in its portfolio, its smart learning thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke alarm, which has only recently gone back on sale. 

The Nest API will give companies access to data allowing them to write programs and trigger events based on who is in the home, smoke and carbon monoxide levels and how much energy is being used. LIFX’s smart light bulbs for example could be programmed to pulse red whenever carbon monoxide levels reach dangerous levels or smoke is detected. 

Whirlpool is another company that’s getting into bed with Nest, with the intention of connecting its smart washers and dryers to the Rush Hour Rewards service. 

Rush Hour Rewards is currently a US-only plan which sees products connected to smart meters – devices that monitor energy usage across the home – queue up spin cycles at a time when the demand on national grids is lower. The idea is that you’ll save money by using energy at a time when its cheaper. 

As we’ve argued in our piece on smart energy systems, as great as they are right now, unless you’ve got a smart meter installed it’s hard to gauge how much money you’re actually saving. The UK Government wants all homes to have smart meters installed by 2020. By then, we might see Rush Hour Rewards launching in the UK to help us get more use out of our electricty. 

Check out Nest’s video below. 

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