Nest Lifts Curtain on Developer Platform to Enable Direct Communication Between Home Devices

Technical protocols enable low-power devices in the home to communicate with each other securely and with no lag time, Nest says.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Nest Labs is upping its game to attract more developers to its Works With Nest program, which launched less than two years ago.

The company is banging the marketing drum for Nest Weave, a communication protocol that lets devices talk directly to each other and to Nest. Previously only used in Nest products, the technology will be open to all developers in 2016.

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Until now, developers have been using Nest’s cloud API to connect to the company’s devices, meaning their products needed to have an Internet connection. Not all home products connect via Wi-Fi, and that’s where Weave comes in.

“Nest Weave solves many issues associated with connecting products in the home, including the ability to connect power-constrained devices as well as devices that require low latency and redundancy,” Nest said in a press release. Developers can use Weave to access home and away states, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alerts, motion and sound alerts, and peak energy rush hour events to create integrations across iOS, Android, and the Web.

Nest said companies like GE, Hunter Douglas, P&G, and Philips Hue have already agreed to use Weave in their products and Google’s OnHub router will also leverage the communication protocol in the future.

The first product to use Nest Weave is the Linus lock by Yale, a connected residential door lock, which lets you check if the door is open or closed, set up passcodes for family members and guests, and see from the Nest app when people arrived and left. It will be available next year.

Nest also introduced a new camera API, which lets developers connect their products to the Nest Cam for the first time, as well as the Works with Nest Store, an online catalog of all Nest-integrated third-party products. Nest developers can apply to have their products featured in the store, which will be available to customers later this year.

The camera API is available now, and new integrations from Mimo, Petnet, Philips Hue, and Skybell are coming this month. For instance, if Nest Cam senses motion when you’re away, Philips Hue lights can be illuminated.

To date, more than 11,000 developers have accessed Nest’s APIs to connect with the company’s products. They’ve built everything from gadgets that know not to run when energy prices are high to light bulbs that flash when there’s smoke in the house.

“Building a connected product is hard,” says Nest Vice President of Engineering Matt Rogers. “We’ve been doing it for the past five years and have first-hand experience with the challenges. That’s why we want to make it easier for developers.”

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