Nest hopes to control the smart home with new API for developers

Nest Thermostat

Just one day after Quirky announced its plans for controlling the smart home, Google-owned Nest Labs released a new smart home API for developers. Developers can now make just about anything — from mobile devices and fitness trackers to cars and appliances — compatible with Nest. The company’s plan is nearly identical to what quirky proposed yesterday, but Nest has a large user base already and the power of Google behind it.

Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone, Whirlpool, LIFX, IFTTT, and Logitech followed Google’s lead and have already released new Nest-compatible features for several devices and products. Now, if you’re driving home in your Mercedes, your car can tell Nest to turn on the AC or the heat, so your humble abode is the perfect temperature upon your arrival.

In addition to these more frivolous matters, Nest’s connections can also save your life.

Say you’re like most people and you don’t have a Mercedes, though. What then? Well, as long as you have a garage door opener from Chamberlain or a few other companies, you’ll soon be able to turn on the AC simply by opening your garage. This method may not give your home that long to perfect the temperature inside, but it will give you a small head start.

Or, if you have Google Now installed on your smartphone, you can simply adjust your thermostat using the app. This new functionality will be available in the fall. Nest can also pair up with Jawbone to adjust the temperature as soon as you wake up. 

However, Nest’s new connections don’t end there. Logitech’s universal remote now works with Nest, too, and can turn on your TV, start a movie, and dim the lights at your request. Nest can slow down your Whirlpool dryer when you’re away, so your clothes don’t wrinkle.

In addition to these more frivolous matters, Nest’s connections can also save your life. Nest can alert your neighbors via text message if a fire breaks out and Nest senses smoke, using its connection to IFTTT. LIFX light bulbs will also be able to detect smoke or carbon monoxide and flash on and off or turn red in the event of an emergency.

Now that Nest has released the API, any device partnership is possible– all the developers have to do is join in on the “Works with Nest” initiative. The API is open to iOS and Android developers. Google will reveal more details about the API at I/O during the “Nest for Developers” session on Thursday, June 26, at 2:00 PM PT.

Product Review

The Brava Oven takes all the thinking out of cooking

Using bulbs to cook food at different light frequencies, the Brava Oven lets even the clueless cook a tasty meal. But your own smart chef doesn’t come cheap.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.

Puma revives its classic 1986 smart shoe, complete with high-tech heel hump

More marketing stunt than serious effort to dominate the smart shoe space, Puma is about to re-release its classic RS-Computer Shoe. The high-tech footwear from 1986 was a breakthrough at the time, despite its unsightly heel hump.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Product Review

Ring Alarm makes DIY home security simple and affordable enough for everyone

Ring first made waves with its video doorbell, and now the Amazon-owned company is moving on to home security with the Ring Alarm. You can install the sensors and keypads yourself, then have Ring professionally monitor your home.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.
Smart Home

The Echo Wall Clock can help you keep track of multiple Alexa timers

Amazon just released the Echo Wall Clock that was announced at its September new hardware device event in Seattle. The Echo Wall Clock is an analog clock that also indicates the minutes remaining on one or more Alexa timers.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.

Get electronics gifts for high-tech homes for under $100 with these deals

The holiday season is in full swing with Christmas just around the corner. New deals on interesting, fun, and practical electronic gifts under $100 from major online retailers can convert last-minute shoppers to savvy bargain hunters.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.