With its debut in 2011, Nest undeniably redefined the word "thermostat" and the abilities of this formerly innocuous device. No longer designed solely to work with HVAC systems to maintain a constant temperature in the home, the thermostat is now a smart home hub in itself, able to learn its users' preferences and speak to other devices.
“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,” said Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering, in 2014 when the company officially rolled out a developer API now known as "Works with Nest." “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 Program is all about.”
A major feature of the platform, Nest says, is that "when products work with Nest, you don’t have to tell them how to connect or what to do. They just work." Since the launch of the Nest Learning Thermostat, numerous other home comfort manufacturers have jumped on the smart thermostat bandwagon, creating devices that can be operated remotely, monitor homeowners' energy use, and generally work better as part of the Internet of Things. Still, Nest leads the way, earning interested from thousands of developers to have their products work specifically with Nest. Here's a look at just a few of the latest products to join the Works with Nest platform.
In addition to access notifications, homeowners who place a Nest Cam in the garage can view video feed from the garage —or any other room where cameras are placed and motion is detected—all through LiftMaster's MyQ app. Ideal for homeowners who travel frequently, keep valuables in their garage, or want to keep an eye on kids home alone. MyQ also integrates with the Nest thermostat, which can adjust to "Home" or "Away" modes as users come and go, helping to ensure they're not heating or cooling empty homes. liftmaster.com
Watch the Water Heater
Rheem is expanding the EcoNet product line it introduced in 2015 by offering integration with the Nest Learning Thermostat. On the Works with Nest platform, the thermostat can communicate with EcoNet-enabled electric and hybrid heat pump water heaters, lowering temperature settings when users are away from home. Gas-enabled water heaters will be added to the program later in the year. Rheem says water heating can account for 20% of a home's energy use, so using smart technology to regulate it can mean an impressive cost savings. The Prestige heat pump water heater with EcoNet and Works with Nest technology offers a 2.45 energy factor and an average 2-year ROI with $4,000 in cost savings over the life of the unit. rheem.com
Technology is present in numerous aspects of Whirlpool's Smart Top-Load Washer and Dryer. The laundry pair integrates with Nest by switching the dryer to energy-saving EcoMode when the thermostat recognizes that homeowners are away. A variety of other specialized cycles and maintenance alerts are available through the Whirlpool mobile app, which can also sync with the homeowner's Amazon account for quick and predictable delivery of laundry supplies when needed. Whirlpool has also initiated the Connect to care program, through which users can set up an online account that makes a monetary charitable donation in an amount of their choosing each time a they run a load of laundry. whirlpool.com
Life Locked In
Yale's Linus lock operates on the Works with Nest program, combining Nest's approach to the smart home with Yale's longstanding experience in lock security. The keyless touchscreen lock lets homeowners lock and unlock doors from anywhere, create passcodes with different levels of access for family members and guests, and receive alerts based on passcode use. In homes that take advantage of Nest Protect, the Linus lock can issue voice and visual alerts if smoke or carbon monoxide are detected. Linus can also tell the Nest thermostat when to switch to Home or Away mode based on user access, and can turn Nest Cam cameras off when people are home and on when they leave. The lock itself features reinforced hardware and bank-level encryption to protect access. If the home's power or wi-fi go down, homeowners can still operate Linus with the touchscreen and other Nest products. Pricing is still being determined. yalelocks.com