By opening up its Nest thermostat to developers, Google just branded the Internet of Things for itself.
We’ve been told that an Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, and our salt shakers will soon be speaking to our light bulbs. But how? There’s no decided way for all of these devices to talk to one another.
That means, when your Jawbone Up sees that you’ve woken up in the morning, it can tell Nest to warm your apartment. Or when the Nest sees that you’ve left the house, it can tell your Whirlpool dryer to keep cycling your clothes to keep them wrinkle free. Into the future, countless cause and effect relationships can be built into Nest in this way.
With Nest scooped up by Google for $3.2 billion, one company believes there’s room for another sleek smart thermostat.
Spark wanted to show it could create an open-source Nest-like thermostat using Spark Core, its Arduino-compatible development platform for building Internet-connected hardware. The result isn’t an exact duplicate, but it’s not a bad approximation for a day’s worth of work. For example, instead of a glass and aluminum enclosure, which Nest uses, Spark opted for acrylic and wood for its prototype.
Like the Warby Parker school bus, which is a touring eyeglass shop, the Nest fire truck will embark on a multi city tour—and a foray into some interesting partnerships. Nest is working with 18 home depots around the Bay Area to tour the bus Mid-November through mid-December. It will also be parking at Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and other major tech company campuses.
And just before Thanksgiving, Nest and Uber will be offering free fire truck rides in the Bay Area.
In the 35 years since a cardigan-clad Jimmy Carter called on America to turn down the thermostat, the technology behind household climate control hasn’t changed much. Sure, there were some incremental improvements, but the world’s brightest minds weren’t exactly set on revolutionizing your A/C. After all, it’s far sexier to build smartphones, right?
Not to Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, who left Apple’s iPod and iPhone development division in 2010 to start Nest, a technology company working to bring thermostats into the 21st century.