If your house holds your memories and belongings, it becomes a part of you. And if it’s a part of you, it should know you well—well enough to recognize where you are and what you need. With Nest’s integration with Google (News - Alert), this kind of connection is now possible.
Smart thermostat company Nest is set to share its user information with Google for the first time since Google acquired them in February. Google will connect some of its mobile apps to Nest, thus being able to detect if Nest users are home or not and set temperatures accordingly. The updated integration will allow users to employ voice commands for their Nest systems. Further, Google’s personal digital assistant, Google Now, will be able to link into a location-service app detecting whether Nest users are close to home; Now will then set the house temperature based on that information.
One concern around the Google/Nest relationship is, of course, data protection. Nest is quick to assure users that their names, emails or home addresses won’t be shared with Google, just as that information is not shared with any other third-party applications. Primarily location information will be conveyed between the two companies, so as to accurately detect where users are in relation to their homes. “We’re not telling Google anything it doesn’t already know,” said Matt Rogers, co-founder of Nest, addressing Google’s current capabilities to track its users via Maps.
In order to keep users in the loop as to how their data is used and shared, each company linking to Nest, including Google, will be required to write letters to Nest users with explanations of any data sharing that occurs. Users, however, will not be required to link Nest to Google; instead they will be given the chance to opt in. As Rogers said in a statement, “We’re not becoming part of the greater Google machine.”
Your house can be more than your home—it can be a whole new relationship. This new integration of Nest and Google will change the way we comfortably live.
Edited by Maurice Nagle