Nest’s mantra for its whole approach is that it reinvents unloved but important home products, such as the humble thermostat and smoke alarm.
The Nest Learning Thermostat addresses home energy consumption, whilst the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm helps keep people safe.
The Nest Thermostat takes away the hassle of programming, as users simply manually control their heating for around one week post installation and Nest creates a personalised schedule that is refined over time.
And with its built-in sensors, the Nest Thermostat knows when the house is empty, so Nest’s Auto-Away feature can automatically turn down the temperature, helping to save even more energy.
With its WiFi connection the thermostat also knows local weather conditions. This is useful information as it will affect how quickly the house will take to heat and cool. On warm day it will heat quicker and cool slower, but on a cold day it will take longer to heat and be quicker to cool.
With this information the thermostat will display an estimated time to reach the selected temperature. This may encourage the user to drop back couple of degrees to reach a comfortable temperature quicker, rather than just cranking up like some home owners are prone to doing.
As for Nest Protect, this product is designed to do much more than just sound a shrill alarm when there’s danger in the home.
Nest Protect speaks to the user, telling them what and where the problem is. It can even alert a smartphone via the Nest App when something’s wrong. It knows when there’s smoke and when there are emergency levels of CO.
As soon as Nest Protect senses there’s a problem, the home owners gets a friendly heads up. If things get worse, Nest Protect will flash red, sound an alarm and tell the user what they need to know – using words instead of beeps.
And at night, Nest Protect’s Path light glows white to light the way in the dark as people pass below it.
What Nest is looking to create however, are not merely useful stand-alone products, the idea is to create an echo system where each new product added advances or aids the performance of the existing units.
For example, the Nest Protect has an inbuilt IR sensor, which detects occupancy and can be used to activate its Path light feature. This also means in a situation where only one Nest Learning Thermostat is in use, the Nest Protects around the property can provide occupancy information to the thermostat therefore optimising its intelligent scheduling even if it’s in an area of low foot traffic.
Invision is also keen to point to the possibilities of the Nest products to sit inside a wider home automation system.
Peter Biggin, product sales manager for Nest at Invision says that with the amount of data and feedback to drive the Nest product line the the door is open for leading control systems like Crestron, RTI, AMX, Pro Control and Control 4 to create control drivers that open up the possibilities for integration with the rest of the home.
Peter argues the Auto Away feature is a good example: “Rather than your customer having to tell the control system they are going out of the house, why not let it happen automatically.
“When the Auto Away feature is enabled on the Nest Thermostat we can use this feedback variable to trigger a sequence of commands to turn off any lights that may be left on or activate CCTV recording.
“This is just one example of the many possibilities available from integrating with Nest. The Works with Nest developer program currently has some 8000 manufactures registered to get involved making for a potentially huge family of connected products in the future.”
Peter adds: “Starting this January, Invision UK is running a full schedule of Nest training sessions throughout the year at five destinations around the UK. Our training course will certify dealers as a Nest Pro meaning they are qualified to install the product and can upload their details and company profile to the Nest website which will provide a valuable source of end user enquiries.”
Ultimately Invision is confident the Nest proposition can be a useful component of automated home projects and also provide a way into untapped markets with the products rising profile amongst consumers.