TECH

Google's Nest Makes Huge Bet On The 'Connected Home'

24/06/2014 09:54 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 09:59 BST

Imagine a home where if you asked your thermostat to change temperature it would, or one that would text your neighbours if an alarm went off while you were on holiday, and knew when you were on your way home from work so would set the temperature accordingly.

These scenarios are all now a reality because of a move by Google-owned thermostat company Nest, which has opened up its software for third-party developers to use for the first time.

It means that other companies will now be able to take advantage of the smart thermostat's software - which can be controlled remotely.

Nest Labs was only formed in 2011, but earlier this year was purchased by Google for $3.2 billion (£1.8 billion).

Co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rodgers had both previously worked at Apple, including on the iPod and original iPhone.

nest thermostat

Above: The company has two central products so far - a smart thermostat that can be controlled via a mobile device (top keft), and an alarm system that also monitors carbon monoxide levels (above).

The announcement confirmed the first partners to have linked up with Nest, including using Google voice recognition and the phrase "Ok Google" in order to verbally change temperature.

Rodgers, vice president of engineering at Nest, said: "The Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect alarm are already helping people save energy, stay comfortable and improve home safety - but that's only the beginning.

"Our goal has always been to bring this kind of thoughtfulness to the rest of your home and life - and that's what the Nest Developer Programme is all about.

"To kick off the programme, we've worked with iconic brands like Mercedes-Benz and Whirlpool, as well as new industry leaders like Jawbone and LIFX, to build seamless, secure and practical 'Works with Nest' experiences for the home."

The Mercedes-Benz set-up will see your car send a message when you begin the journey home so your thermostat can start heating or cooling accordingly.

The connection with the Jawbone activity monitor wristband is another interesting new partnership, with the wristband communicating with Nest to set the temperature for you as you wake up - the Jawbone UP24 wristband tracks your sleep.

"We're trying to invent experiences you'll use everyday with products that you'll use everyday", said Rodgers.

"We want to build an experience, not something just for the sake of it."

Nest said that more than 5,000 developers have already registered an interest in working with the software, including light bulb manufacturer LIFX, which has developed a system to turn the internal lighting of your home red should the Nest carbon monoxide monitor detect a leak.

Phil Bosua, founder and chief executive of LIFX, said: "When we first heard about the Nest Developer Programme, we knew we wanted to be a part of it.

"Nest brings a whole other dimension to LIFX. Who would have thought by combining Nest products and LIFX products, we could help save lives?"

The launch will further fuel talk of a movement towards the 'Internet of Things', an ever-growing idea that soon all of the devices we use will be connected together, much like computers when using the web.

Technology giant Samsung has confirmed in the past that the company believes that this trend will be the key development of the next decade in the technology sector, with UK president Andy Griffiths saying he believes the future is all about the "connected home".