Nest Labs

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Nest Labs is a home automation specialist company that produces programmable Wi-Fi-enabled products that can be remotely controlled through a Web service or an associated smart home app.

Two Apple engineers, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, founded Nest in 2010. Fadell was originally inspired by the inadequacies of thermostats for settings appropriate to his vacation home. Nest expanded from thermostats to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, then security cameras with the acquisition of Dropcam.

Nest technologies enable intelligent control of thermostats and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems to make for a more comfortable home. The products save money through efficient use and integrate home safety and security features. Nest devices are inter-connected through Weave, a protocol based on IEEE 802.15.4 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

Nest Learning Thermostat gathers data from experience and programs itself for temperatures the owners prefer. Once established, the product automatically adjusts for wake and sleep and home and away times, as well as seasonal changes.

Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector with battery-operated and AC versions. Protect can turn off the furnace in the event of a potential fire and can be silenced by a smartphone-generated command. The product also includes home/away awareness.

Nest  Cam is a webcam designed for monitoring the home; the owner can view streamed video on a smartphone. The camera includes motion and sound detection, night vision and activity alerts. Audio capability means that the user can speak to someone in the home environment.

Google acquired Nest in January 2015 for $3.2 billion. Since Google’s reorganization later in the same year, Nest Labs, like Google itself, has become a wholly-owned subsidiary  of Alphabet, Inc.

This was last updated in November 2015

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