Alphabet-owned Nest is best known for its smart thermostat, but the company works on a number of devices which, albeit being generally good at their given task, do not communicate with each other particularly well. And that’s mostly due to the fact that said devices have always had a hard time detecting whether you are actually at home or not.
With the upcoming implementation of GPS support via the Nest app, however, it looks like your house is about to become decidedly more efficient – and smart…
Until now, the Thermostat, Protect and the Nest Cam used a combination of proprietary algorithms and sensors’ data to guess when you were at home, triggering things like water heating accordingly. Now, thanks to GPS and the new “Home/Away Assist” feature, the devices can be set to operate much more precisely; for instance, your Cam can be set up to intelligently turn itself on and off when it detects that you are actually inside or out your home.
And if you don’t live alone, the app now allows for ‘Family’ account options that let other people join the group and have their devices work in accordance, so that if one leaves the house the central heating is not automatically turned off for everyone who is still in. There are no login details to share, and the account holder can manage other people’s access at will, which for example could come in pretty handy with guests.
Per Nest’s blog post:
Family Accounts provides a critical piece of the puzzle. When family members opt in, it lets Home/Away Assist use data from their phones – Android or iOS. So Home/Away Assist will switch to Away only if everyone is out. And it won’t turn down the heat if someone is in a room not visible to any activity sensors.
We’ve wanted to do Home/Away Assist for a long time now. But more importantly, we wanted to do it right. By combining sensor data, algorithms and multiple phones, we think we’ve nailed it.