Nest smart thermostat Stories November 26, 2014

I wondered earlier this year whether Apple’s HomeKit system would bring home automation to the masses. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for HomeKit to start bringing smart home technology to your family and friends – and we’ve put together a gift guide covering some of the main products that might bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.

With the right gadgets, they will be able to control lighting, heating, cooking, sound systems … even have their kettle switch on when they walk up to their front door, which will automatically unlock as they approach. Best of all, you can get them in on the smart home action from just $30 …

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Nest smart thermostat Stories November 4, 2014

Nest rolling out updates for smarter auto-scheduling and faster access to info

Your Nest smart thermostat should get a little smarter at some point over the next week as the company rolls out version 4.3 of the software, providing improved auto-scheduling and faster access to info at-a-glance.

A single push of the ring displays the information shown above, which includes weather, outdoor temperature and humidity. This has, says Nest, been the biggest customer request, allowing them to check what they should wear before heading out in the morning. Getting access to additional information, like yesterday’s energy usage or tomorrow’s schedule, is now available simply by turning the ring left or right … 

Nest smart thermostat 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 smart thermostat 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.

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