back to article Nest reveals the first truly connected home

After years of hype, the connected home is finally here thanks to a range of new products available this week from Google-owned Nest. Having announced back in September that it would launch a new smart security system, doorbell and lock, the company finally put the last two into the market this week, as well as a new, smarter …

There are companies linking all these things together from different brands.

MyAV is one example in the smart home entertainment side of things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There are companies linking all these things together from different brands.

Inter-operability shouldn't be provided by the client, it should be provided by the protocol..

The biggest problem with the current market is the larger brands are trying to create "walled gardens", with both Nest and Hive (the biggest names that come to mind), spurning the inter-operable standards such as Z-Wave and Zigbee - Just so they can rip customers off, for example, the Hive door sensor is £45. where you can get the same function from a Zigbee door sensor that costs < £10..

As somebody who's played with stuff quite a bit, my advise is: If you like to tinker. check out SmartThings (Or a similar z-wave/zigbee hub, you can even script with them), if you want something that just works and are flush with cash, try Hive/Nest.. If your neither, then wait, this market has a way to go before its mature..

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Re: There are companies linking all these things together from different brands.

...trying to create "walled gardens" ... Just so they can rip customers off

The walled garden approach is more about data gathering than hardware revenue. Google, Amazon, etc collect mass quantities of data from these in-home sensors and their various control hubs and smart assistants. Each additional sensor that they can access means more of that sweet, sweet user data.

The real rip-off will come when they combine the above-mentioned sensor data with everything else that they know about you, and then use / monetize the resultant psychographic profile for their (and their "partners'") benefit, and to your detriment, over and over and over again.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would willingly install a corporate surveillance device in their home -- much less an entire connected suite of them. Corporations exist for exactly one reason: to return value to shareholders. If data can be monetized, it will. (Spoiler alert: it can.) Anyone who thinks they're just collecting all this data "to improve your user experience" is (a) hopelessly ignorant, and (b) exactly their target market.

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Re: There are companies linking all these things together from different brands.

Of course data has value, but I think that is secondary here - with Hive/Nest, the real value is being able to demand premium prices, but also the subscription and micr-transactions.

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Abandon hope...

All ye etc.

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Re: Abandon hope...

i was more wondering what would happen if you put 240v rather than 9 into the terminals. that would certainly make the lock abandon all hope.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Abandon hope...

I was wondering if you'd pop the lock just by touching the lock with a 9 volt while the AA batteries were still functional or even a car battery. Your idea sounds like a lot more fun.

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Flame

Re: Abandon hope...

that would certainly make the lock abandon all hope.

s/hope/magic smoke/

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Mushroom

Re: Abandon hope...

I was wondering if you'd pop the lock just by touching the lock with a 9 volt while the AA batteries were still functional

In a proper design (I know, I know), the 9V terminals would be used to power the lock's logic so that the keypad/RFID/DNA-scanner/whatever can take input again and open the door. And ideally (I know, I know) those external terminals would be protected against overvoltage and reverse polarity.

So your connecting a 9V battery to a still functioning lock would not matter. Now, 240VAC, or several tens of kV from one of those piezo-electric gas igniters, a miniature Tesla coil or something similar, that would be quite a different matter ...

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Anonymous Coward

I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle. At some point I'll shift my arse and get some pi zero w's and look into building and designing something myself. It can't really be that hard to say detect my phone when I come to the front door and open the door (before anyone says security, I'll have an app with rotating keys on the phone using both wifi and bluetooth that creates a new random pairing once it connects to the wifi or something like that), camera's can be done through open source software, add in motion detection/sensors, door sensors, redundancy with a 4g connection/ups/battery back up and a bell box. I could even get it to ring me/text me if I'm out in case there's a problem. I can dream I suppose.

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Re. I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle....

Precisely.

Integrated & connected home good....

Integrated & connected to everything else Google already know about you BAD.

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Re: Re. I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle....

whilst i might do something like that for my shed as a "wonder if", ill be sticking to a 5 lever mortice key for a while.

we run a net2 paxton system at work and that thing is fairly buggy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re. I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle....

Agreed, the only problem with powered magnetic locks is power or a doctor with a comb.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re. I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle....

"Integrated & connected to everything else Google already know about you BAD."

Yep at least Alexa and Hive are not made by a company that specialises in spying on you. No way I would buy anything Nest now it's part of Google.

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Big Brother

Re: Re. I like the idea of a smart home but I don't want the IoT internet angle....

Yep at least Alexa and Hive are not made by a company that specialises in spying on you.

You sure?

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Doorbell as a cost center.

The mind absolutely boggles.

My decades old X10 kit can do pretty much the same exact things[0], cheaper and without subscription costs ... but nobody bought into that, either.

[0] Sans facial recognition, of course, but rumor has it people are pretty good at that without the help of computers. YMMV.

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Re: Doorbell as a cost center.

Do people go to peoples' doors any more? I mean anyone you actually know?

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Re: Doorbell as a cost center.

"Do people go to peoples' doors any more? I mean anyone you actually know?"

Yes.

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Pint

Re: Doorbell as a cost center.

Jake mentioned, "My decades old X10 kit..."

You're reminding me of my own X10 Great Disappointment.

I wanted my bedside incandescent light bulb to turn on slowly in the morning, like a sunrise.

I bought a bunch of the $20 modules and a $100 standalone timer controller.

Issues: Controller spent its days watching the AC power sinwave; any deviation from a perfect sinwave caused it to empty its memory. The Lamp Module would reach 10% by rudely coming on at 100% and then dimming back to 10%. Leaving it running at 10% all night caused acoustic noise and RF EMI. It refused to run at 0% without pulsing to 100% to get to 10%. All the tea in China couldn't get it to mimic a sunrise. The hard relay Modules sounded like a gunshot.

The whole X10 system was a fiasco.

Thanks for the painful memories. ;-)

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Re: Doorbell as a cost center.

But are they ever actually *welcome* ? Unless you're expecting them by prior arrangement.

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Soo...

Not a chance. No way in hell am I adding this stuff to my home.

Too many risks. Look at cars with smart locks, your car can be borrowed by a thief without your keys, they can disable the alarm, unlock the car, switch the engine on and drive away, all without breaking any windows or hot wiring etc.

Basically, like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbZwjmu0H0

Would you want that ability on your home too? I know I wouldn't!

I love new tech, but this is too far even for me!

PS: Nope, no Alexa and such here either.

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Re: Soo...

Totally agree. I already have no need to punch noisy keypads, or fiddle with keys, and I don't need my phone. I have one encrypted keyfob to open the garage door and, while the door is opening, I have the encrypted thingamabob to shut down the alarm. Nice, clean, no panick and I do it whilst sitting in the car, so no sweat either.

Oh and, by the way, my alarm keypad has never made a sound since I had the first one installed back in 1998.

What else do I not have ? I don't have an unknown hack opening my house to God only knows who; I don't have the need to sweat about what happens to my lock if the power shuts down 5 minutes after I leave for a 3-day trip and, most importantly, I don't have Google spying on my every action in my own house.

So I'll happily leave this "wonderful" new technology to all the people who think their lives will be better with it, but don't actually need it. And I will also be happy for the physically handicapped who will likely welcome a home system that they can easily control from one point, even if it means someone else might be able to as well.

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Unhappy

Re: Soo...

I have no idea about other people's insurance documents, but mine specify the nature and style of locks I have to use and none of them described in this write up appear to comply with the very specific documentation I hold. That is quite apart from the existing key fob controllers I already use in an otherwise very low technology almost 24 hour a day occupied house. As for equipping more than 10 rooms and about 20 radiators with thermostats and controls that could be disabled on a whim by the supplier, I am sorry I am not smoking what they smoke, neck or whatever. More to the point with more than one person in residence I can only imagine the potential for anarchy even before the network goes down

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Re: Soo...

"...your car can be borrowed by a thief without your keys..."

Not that I would endorse these locks to any degree, just out of curiosity and for some perspective - could you tell me how many pins there are in your current mechanical door lock, and how many of them are security pins? Would one need anything more involved than a $5 bump key or rake to open it in a few seconds?

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Re: Soo...

A bump key may work on the lock. But you see, that's only one part of the puzzle, how would you then disable the alarm that is now going off from the door being opened?

Older alarm systems (non-smart) have/had backup batteries which in the event of a break in they would continue to go off even in the burger cut the buildings power.

So aside from either:

a) knowing the alarms disable pin code

b) (in some cases) having the disable fob

c) Going the spy movie route of cracking the code (which may take too long if you're a burger)

d) Hunting for the alarms main battery box and yanking the battery out

There is no easy way to stop the alarm. And the methods which you'd need to do so would take far too long from a burgers point of view, unless you live somewhere that no one can hear the alarm going off (They are loud, even more so when you get a power cut through the night which trips the alarm while you're sleeping!!!) and the alarm does not contact the police or a security company.

With "smart tech" the theory is, like the car an alarm would not even go off if the system was hacked (one way or the other) because it's been fully disabled before it's had a chance to go off.

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Anonymous Coward

Let me get this straight

People with too much disposable income are too lazy to even flick a switch and that is why a G-owned company will have 24/7 live video from any given door down your road - and people are paying for that, too. That leaves me with a question: Since smart butt-plugs are already a thing, why doesn’t Nest offer those as well? It would be so much more convenient than having to fiddle with the phone at all. Just squeeze hard and make all your surveillance dreams come true.

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Re: Let me get this straight

a G-owned company will have 24/7 live video from any given door down your road"

There are laws (not currently heavily enforced) in the UK regarding private use of CCTV that look out into public areas. I wonder how things will change if multiple houses front doors have facial recognition cameras running 24/7 and storing 5 days worth of video in the offshore, US based GooBorg cloud?

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Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

The most expensive part of a camera system are the cameras. If you want IP cameras it is actually cheaper to buy a system that comes with an NVR (and generally ethernet cables for the PoE the NVR has built in) Add a hard drive to the NVR, and there are cloud options for viewing without opening any ports similar to the "service" Nest offers but its free.

People are stupid.

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Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

swann have cheap enough cameras and dvrs. they arent bad as an off the shelf product.

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Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

If people were smart, half of the retail economy would not exist nor most of the financial industry.

For that matter, a lot of businesses would be out of business. Which would be just fine with me.

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Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

Rather than putting my security video on my own NAS. I installed my own ethernet powered cameras. Used the APP on my Synology NAS to record the video. I did not port forward the video but prefer to review video from my NAS.

All video is available via Nextcloud rather than trusting some paid service.

I have a bluetooth switch on my garage door opener so I can open it with my phone. Considered using a Raspberry Pi on my network to open the garage door but decided I did not want door security available in the internet.

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Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

Garage door openers are a solved problem, why did you feel you have to reinvent the wheel for that? Much easier to reach up on the ceiling of your car and press a button (whether built in or a little clip on remote) than to mess with your phone.

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Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

I open my garage door manually - surely not the only one?

Zero IOT lock / camera / thermostat etc tat in the house

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Joke

Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

@ecofeco

If people were smart, I would have my jetpack already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would anyone PAY for a video recording "service"?

@ArrZarr

If people were smart, either we'd have killed each other until there was nobody left, or we'd have stopped trying to.

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Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

With the company's smart IQ technology, it may even be able to tell you "Dave is at the door" thanks to facial-recognition.

What should happen - you'll have to check if your in idIoT doorbell is compliant with GDPR in case Dave doesn't want to be slurped and stored in a Silly Valley data centre.

What will happen instead - idIoT doorbells will connect to your Facebook photo feed to automatically find out who's there.

I don't think Kieren is the right reviewer for this kind of tech. They are nice toys but the reviews need someone who will only dole out grudging praise if the security aspect is done right so readers can protect themselves from the oncoming privacy apocalypse. As far as I know, only Ikea does that (it works on a LAN without a connection to the outside world).

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Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

"the oncoming privacy apocalypse. As far as I know, only Ikea does that (it works on a LAN without a connection to the outside world)."

It does seem as though not many years ago, the default would have been to sell an expensive "hub" that acts as the central control for all your security gadgets to lock you into an ecosystem. Now the default is not to sell "something" but sell a "service" that you first pay and arm and a leg for and then continue paying forever and a day to keep it running at full spec. rather than the degraded (or at all) operation you get if you don't pay.

It's more like extortion than a legal business model. Not to mention that Google/Alphabet/Nest have form for effectively bricking their customers, even those who wanted to carry on paying. The more things change, the more they Revolv.

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Trollface

Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

Now the default is not to sell "something" but sell a "service" that you first pay and arm and a leg for and then continue paying forever and a day to keep it running at full spec.

I blame MBA types for imposing that on us

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Big Brother

Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

Now the default is not to sell "something" but sell a "service" that you first pay and arm and a leg for and then continue paying forever and a day to keep it running at full spec.

You can easily see this just about everywhere: subscription services instead of buy once use forever. Software. Cars (private lease). Even home appliances like central heating systems. Just about the only area where I more or less prefer such a subscription is Renault leasing you the batteries for their electric vehicles (and only the batteries). Of course you can put aside that amount of money per month, saving it up for the moment you need to replace them, but if those batteries have degraded sooner than you budgeted for you still have to come up with the moolah one way or another. And as a getaway vehicle for a bank robbery one with degraded batteries is probably not ideal.

Companies want a steady income stream instead of relying on just item sales. Which tends to become a bit of a problem when you're selling durable consumer goods; you can try to increase repeat sales by selling non-that-durable goods instead but then there's the risk that consumers turn to other brands, exacerbating your problem. So much better if you manage to turn whatever it is you're selling into some kind of subscription, especially if that locks the consumer into a controlled ecosystem.

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Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

@Stoneshop

Companies want a steady income stream instead of relying on just item sales

The Man In The White Suite(1951)

"An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but both big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons."

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Coat

Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

"The Man In The White Suite(1951)"

He was hiding in your settee/couch?

Coat. The white one that falls apart over time ----->

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Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

But it's in the cloud, and so therefore no-one understands it and it must be worth spending millions of pounds on.

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Jumpstart

Wow. Exposing electrical contacts to the outside world is a very clever idea.

I wonder what would happen if somebody applied high voltage to those contacts. Sufficiently high to blast the electronics to buggery. Which way would it fail? One would hope it would fail locked, otherwise burglars have an easy way in. OTOH, that would allow a DoS attack on your lock (but no worse than superglue in a conventional lock).

Except I doubt you can guarantee which way it's going to fail, unless Nest put a lot of effort into ensuring it fails locked in those circumstances. And even the best design might behave unpredictably if you used one of these bad boys on it.

Note that the above device is intended purely for high school science experiments and not for constructing a contact electroshock weapon (like a TASER, but without the dart-firing capability). It would be illegal to use one of these to construct an electroshock weapon. So it's a good thing people can't buy them dirt-cheap on eBay. Ob Big Clive video (contains one of those devices, alcohol, technical stupidity, profanity and electric shock).

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Re: Jumpstart

to be fair, pouring superglue or epoxy into locks is also and easy way to bugger expensive locks.

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Re: Jumpstart

Isn't it a law to fail open, so you aren't trapped in the case of a power outage (caused by a fire)? Or do all these smart locks have mechanical options also?

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Re: Jumpstart

to be fair, pouring superglue or epoxy into locks is also and easy way to bugger expensive locks.

Which keeps the lock in the state it's in, usually locked.

Zapping the electronics may leave the lock in a state where mechanical methods can more easily open it (if such would be necessary at all).

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Windows

Re: Jumpstart

Or do all these smart locks have mechanical options also?

I haven't looked, but I would expect there being a knob* on the inside allowing you to open the door and get out in any case.

* meaning a protruding bit you can grab and turn or slide to open the door, not the person who bought this stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jumpstart

"...pouring superglue or epoxy into locks is also and easy way to bugger expensive locks." ...then... "Which keeps the lock in the state it's in, usually locked."

Next day, the glued-and-screwed expensive door lock will have been replaced with a $10 doorknob from the nearest hardware store. Burglary takes two visits.

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Re: Jumpstart. Knob on the inside

That's a rude way to talk about your wife.

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Anonymous Coward

The question is...

What does your Insurance Company make of all this ***p? What if putting one of these in makes your insurance invalid? Do they not advertise 'hey thieves, this twat has money to spend on this stuff. Lets get inside and see what else he has?' or words to that effect.

I know that mine takes a dim view of anything connected to the Internet.

That rules out 99.999% of this IoT sh1t then.

I'll carry on with BS Approved locks for a good few years.

And no, my name is not Dave.

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