Google's Nest to Make Homes More Connected Via Developers

Mercedes, Whirpool and Others Will Talk With Nest Thermostats

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A Nest thermostat.
A Nest thermostat.
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Google's Nest Labs is rolling out a program to encourage companies to develop devices and services that will work with the Nest digital thermostat and other products.

Whirlpool Corp., Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and garage-door maker Chamberlain Group Inc. have signed on as partners, Nest said. By connecting washing machines, cars and garage doors with Nest, users can control the temperature and energy use within their residences, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement.

The initiative is part of a wider push to make houses and everyday devices more connected and intelligent. Apple is building home-automation features into its iOS mobile software and startups have introduced devices to control lighting, security and other devices in the home. Nest and Google's venture arm are teaming up with venture investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to create the "Thoughtful Things Fund" to back new ideas for connected homes, Nest said.

"The Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect alarm are already helping people save energy, stay comfortable, and improve home safety -- but that's only the beginning," Matt Rogers, VP of engineering at Nest, said in the statement. "Our goal has always been to bring this kind of thoughtfulness to the rest of your home and life."

Nest, acquired by Google in February, is stepping up efforts to make its products a central hub inside homes. The developer program follows Nest's announcement last week that it's buying home-video security company Dropcam for $555 million, adding another potential set of devices that can connect to Nest products.

Nest's developer program, first announced last year, has drawn interest from more than 5,000 developers. The company will provide software tools and support to make it easier for other companies' products to connect with Nest's devices, Nest said.

~ Bloomberg News ~