Hardware maker Nest has finally released its API, which will let developers build applications for its smart thermostat and its smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, allowing those appliances to talk to other connected devices in your home.
"When we combine what we know about working inside of people’s homes with what other products can do, we’re able to build these meaningful connections," Nest's founder and head of engineering Matt Rogers wrote in a blog post. "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."
Announced in September, the Nest Developer Program is encouraging independent developers to build for its appliances. The company also has launch partners lined up, including Jawbone, automation service IFTTT, Whirlpool, Mercedes-Benz, Logitech, smart light bulbs LIFX, and connected garage door opener Chamberlain. Compatibility with Google, which acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in January, will arrive in the fall.
The API itself has been dubbed "Works with Nest." For the partner companies, building atop Nest's technology will enable them to bring a new dimension of functionality to their products. For example, Whirlpool can delay starting a cycle in the washer or dryer during peak demand to help households save energy. (According to Google Ventures, Nest helped homes save 1.2 billion kilowatt hours last year—the equivalent of powering 1.3 million homes for a month.) In addition, a compatible Mercedes-Benz car can trigger the Nest Thermostat to heat or cool the house immediately when the driver comes home. Jawbone can also customize the thermostat's schedule according to a person's sleep and wake cycles as measured by its UP24 tracker.