Nest Labs is moving beyond its hardware strongholds -- its famed smart thermostats and smoke detectors -- to conquer a wider array of categories within the connected home.
The Google-owned home automation company today launched the Nest Developer Program, in which it will open up its software platform to "more than 5,000 developers."
Partners both inside and outside of the home have expressed interest in automating their products via Nest’s proprietary software, the company said, “from lighting to appliances to fitness bands and even cars.”
Accordingly, consumers will soon be able to communicate with their Whirlpool washers and dryers, Mercedes-Benz vehicles, Logitech remote controls, Jawbone fitness devices, LIFX lightbulbs and a whole host of other appliances through Nest’s operating system, the company said.
Additional partnerships slated for fall include Chamberlain garage door openers and Google itself. Its personal assistant service, Google Now, will be able to set Nest thermostats to a certain temperature when it detects that a user is en route home.
Nest will allow partners to link their software and apps to its thermostat, which will act as a hub for other devices, the company’s co-founder, Matt Rogers, told The Wall Street Journal. And though it will be closely attuned to users’ daily habits, Nest will share “limited” information about consumers with Google and its partners, he said.
Google’s Nest is not the only contender in a heated chase to become the OS of choice for tomorrow’s connected home. At its World Wide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple introduced HomeKit, which will integrate the automation of locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs and switches via iOS 8.
And yesterday, startup hub Quirky, famed for incubating and bringing to market electronic inventions and home appliances, spun off a separate company called Wink. Its aim is comparable to Nest’s: to create open-system software for the forthcoming devices that will comprise our connected homes.