Nest Labs Stories March 16, 2015

Tado smart thermostat gets IFTTT channel and API, can now control other devices

Tado, the smart thermostat system I reviewed back in 2013, now has an IFTTT channel and an API, allowing it to control other home automation devices.

Tado° users will soon be able to connect their tado° Smart Thermostat to other appliances via IFTTT. This will enable the use of the tado° geolocation feature for purposes other than smart heating or cooling. In the very near future, when a tado° user leaves the house, not only will the heating automatically go to savings mode, but simultaneously the lights switch off, the alarm system activates, the garage door locks and landline calls reroute to their mobile.

The company says that the API will allow developers to integrate Tado into other home automation apps. The company is also working on HomeKit support.

IFTTT introduced three simplified apps last month to make the service more accessible to non-technical users, while rebranding its full-fat app as IF.

Nest Labs Stories May 21, 2014

Google tells the SEC it could soon be serving ads on thermostats and other devices (Update: Google says no ad-based Nest)

 

Those who expressed concern about Google’s acquisition of Nest may have have been right: the company has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it may choose to serve ads on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google made the statement in support of its contention that it shouldn’t have to break out ad revenue from mobile devices.

Google argued that it doesn’t make sense to break out mobile revenue since the definition of mobile will “continue to evolve” as more “smart” devices roll out.

“Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future,” the company said in the filing.

While the statement is purely a defensive one – the company not wanting to share more data than it has to with competitors – the specific thermostat example seems unlikely to have been chosen completely randomly.

Google added the Nest smart thermostat to Google Play three months after purchasing the company. Nest remains on sale in Apple stores, both retail and online.

Nest was created by former Apple engineer Tony Fadell, the man dubbed ‘father of the iPod.’ Fadell sought to allay concerns about Google’s acquisition of the company soon after it was announced, promising that all data collected by Nest was used only to improve the product, and that any changes to that policy would be opt-in. Nothing was said about serving non-personalized ads, however.

Update: Google gave the following statement to Engadget

We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”

Nest Labs Stories January 20, 2014

Any data gathered by Google-owned Nest devices will be “transparent and opt-in,” says Tony Fadell

Photo: websummit.net

Nest CEO and ‘father of the iPod’ Tony Fadell has responded to data privacy concerns expressed after the company was acquired by Google, stating that there have not yet been any changes to the data collected by the smart thermostat and smoke detector, and that any future changes would be both transparent and opt-in.

At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them.

If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it … 

Fadell gave the assurances during an interview at the Digital-Life-Design conference (via TNW). He also said that he was excited by the conversations he’d had with Larry Page and other Google execs when discussing future plans.

We were finishing each other’s sentences, and the visions that we had were just so large and so great, and they weren’t scared by them. We were both getting exhilarated by what could change and how things could change, and that we could have the ability to change those things together.

Apple senior VP Phil Schiller unfollowed both Fadell and Nest on Twitter following the acquisition.

Nest Labs Stories January 17, 2014

Only a few days after “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell agreed to sell thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest to Google for north of three billion dollars, Apple senior vice president (and former Fadell colleague) Phil Schiller has unfollowed the Nest CEO and the Nest company on Twitter.

Here’s Schiller’s following list from a recent cache:

expand full story

Nest Labs Stories January 13, 2014

Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest: expand full story

Nest Labs Stories November 25, 2013

This review has been updated a year in, with an improved thermostat with built-in display and touch-sensitive controls, and new fuel-saving figures.

Affordable home automation has been a long time coming. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s the 21st Century and homes still don’t have Star Trek style swishy doors as standard.

But iPhone-controlled heating and lighting is here today. Nest hasn’t yet made it to the UK, so I decided to try out competitor system Tado, which is available in Europe now.

In the UK, it costs £199 if your system already has a wired thermostat, or £278 if it doesn’t. Alternatively, you can rent Tado for either £4.99 or £7.98/month. Looking at my own energy usage before and after, the payback time is a little under three years.

The concept

The idea behind Tado is three-fold. First, automation. As well as the programmable timer you have in any heating system, it also monitors the locations of everyone in the household via their iPhones (or Android phones). If everyone is out, it turns down the heating even if the timer says it should be on.

How much it turns it down depends on how far away you are, because it aims to have it back up to temperature by the time you return. Nip out to the local grocery store, and it won’t adjust it much, drive an hour to work and it’ll turn it down a lot …  expand full story

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