nest-mainDo you remember the old black and white Frankenstein movie? You know, the one with horror movie staple Bela Lugosi as Dr. Frankenstein? It’s a classic, and Lugosi’s cry of “It’s Alive!!!” when his monster begins to stir, is as famous a movie quote as any out there. I think of that quote when I think of how Smart Home technology sometimes seems to bring our living spaces to life, with our connected devices talking to one another and learning about our habits. In previous installments of this Smart Home System Series, I took a look at home automation technology that is the underlying framework for bringing a variety of devices together under one umbrella, such as Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave. In this blog, I’ll fill you in on Google’s Nest, and the products that work with Nest.


Your Home is Your Nest


Nest is one of the more recognized names in Smart Home technology. The Google home automation brand has skillfully inserted itself into the industry in recent years, and many people who don’t know much about this sort of product, have heard the name, nonetheless. The company’s first product was the Nest Thermostat, a programmable and self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that optimizes heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve energy. It remembers the temperatures you like, learns your schedule, and figures out how to save you money. It even knows when you’re away, so it turns down the temperature, and the thermostat’s wifi connection lets you control it from anywhere in the world with just your smartphone. For me, a smart thermostat is the backbone of a Smart Home system, and Nest is pretty much the top name when it comes to these devices. They are currently on the third generation of their Learning Thermostats, which can even monitor weather conditions outside the home, to evaluate how best to heat or cool your inside living space.


Where there’s Smoke


With the success of the Nest Learning Thermostat, the company soon came out with the Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This advanced smart home device can send your smartphone alerts whenever there is something wrong in your home. And, it can tell the difference between different levels of emergency, too. Say, you left a pot on a burner that was still on. The Nest Alarm will let you know there is smoke in the home, so you can return quickly and avert a potentially disasterous outcome. It is also the first to use Split-Spectrum Sensor, two wavelengths of light to spot different kinds of smoke, which helps it catch both fast and slow-burning fires quickly.


I See You


Nest next launched its Nest Cam WiFi Indoor IP Camera and Nest Cam Wi-Fi Outdoor 1080p IP Camera. As you`d expect, these versatile cameras let you check in on your home from almost anywhere in the world where there is a wifi connection. These camereas both work over your home`s wifi network to stream live and recorded footage 24é7 to you at your convenience. And, these are like spy cams with Night vision LED sensors that enable a clear view when it’s dark, so you can see everything that’s going on, even if the lights are out.


Works with Nest


Where the Nest system really shines, is in its compatibility with so many other products and brands out there. Works with Nest is a protocol, platform or framework (however you want to think about it) that allows third party devices to communicate with Nest products, and each other. So, instead of having to navigate a ton of different apps and menus to make your home “smart,” Nest brings all those devices and technologies together to work seamlessly and easily. For instance, when one Nest device detects carbon monoxide, it can tell your thermostat to turn off your furnace, in case that’s the problem. Or, you can have your connected lights wired to turn on if movement is detected in your home when you’re away.


What “Works with Nest”?


Thanks to a strong brand name and a desire to work with developers, Nest is compatible with a whole range of Smart Home products and brands, such as the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller (which lets you control your garage door from anywhere, plus receive customized alerts) and the Jawbone UP2 Fitness Tracker. The latter is a wearable fitness device that also knows when you’re awake. Imagine pairing that with your thermostat, and having the heat turn on in your home precisely when you wake up. Can I get a connected coffee maker, too please? But the point is, from wearables to appliances like washers and dryers, Nest-compatible devices are everywhere, and quite easy to integrate into your whole Smart Home set-up. Once you start (usually with a Nest Thermostat, or Alarm), and then begin adding additional devices to your living space, you’ll soon be shouting “It’s Alive!!” yourself, when you see how technology can make your life more convenient almost on its own.


Do you have any Works with Nest devices or appliances in your home?  Have you thought about setting up your own Smart Home? How would you do it, and would you use Nest, Apple HomeKit or Z-Wave as your base framework? Let me know in the comment section below.

Steven Hill
I am an award-winning writer, freelance journalist and blogger who is a self-confessed geek and tech lover. When not playing the latest video games or salivating over the newest gadgets, I enjoy cooking for my family, mountain biking or snowboarding the deep powder on Whistler Mountain.