Alphabet-owned Nest’s services can now link with products from other smart home companies like August LIFX, Misfit, WeMo and many more.
While this might seem like a minimal change, it opens up a new range of functionality for Nest’s devices. For example, August’s Doorbell Cam is now compatible with the Nest Cam, giving users of both products a combined feed of inside as well as outside their home.
Another example is that Belkin Wemo lights now have the ability to immediately turn off a Nest product when a house is empty. This update includes a slew of other small, but useful changes that help make Nest products feel like they’re more closely integrated into a smart home’s ecosystem, rather than independent devices.
One the main issues surrounding the concept of a smart home is the lack of a cohesive system that allows devices from different manufacturers to communicate, whether it’s Apple’s HomeKit, GE’s Wink, Google’s Weave, or the various other disparate platforms currently available.
Interestingly, Amazon’s Echo, more specifically the company’s voice-activated device’s virtual assistant called Alexa, has emerged as one of the best ways to control multiple smart home devices via one product. On an almost a weekly basis Amazon adds new functionality to Alexa, allowing it to be compatible with an increasing number of smart home devices thanks to its open API.
To remain competitive in the fast-growing smart home space, it seems Alphabet realized it needs to adopt the same strategy with Nest, opting to make its line of devices more open to working with smart home products from other manufacturers.