The Nest thermostat is already several kinds of wonderful, not least because it’s perhaps the biggest attempt yet to turn the average home into a “connected home” as part of the ever-expanding Internet of Things. Now the company behind this seemingly simple peripheral will be opening up a public API for it. This means third party apps could soon be written to control the device.
At this point, you may be thinking, “but it’s just a thermostat!” And you’re right, the kind of third party apps that will interact with Nest aren’t really going to do much more than allow you to control the temperature of your home in smart or unusual ways. But it does mean Nest interactivity will be able to be built into other apps–perhaps ones that gather sensor data from all over your home and provide enough information for you to work out how to lower your energy bills. This raises the possibility that in the future, when more of your household devices are connected to the Internet, you’ll be able to download competing apps from third party app makers that offer to run your home more efficiently. There are even more intriguing possibilities, like allowing your home cinema system to lower the temperature to match something like the sepulchral chill of a horror movie’s plot.
Nest is also talking with Control 4, a company that makes home automation systems, meaning Nest will be more integrated into connected homes in the future, instead of being a stand-alone device.
Ultimately Nest’s API move suggests that your future connected home is going to be even more powerful than we may have thought. Will Apple soon be adding a “home automation” category to the iPhone app store?