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 …

Anonymous Coward

That's incorrect. Don't heat empty homes, yes they take longer to warm up, but it's still more efficient to only year when you are around or incoming (which is where nest excels)

Having run nest thermostat for 3 years now, it paid for itself in 18 months in heating bill savings (around £10 a month), I can literally see the jump down in my online usage account comparing several years of data.

It's very smart about warm up and cool down times, and outside temps and forecasting z which is where there are huge savings to be had over dumb thermostats.

The nest protect fire/co2 sensors are also superb. They of course work as offline dumb sensors and are very loud, and have regular selfchecks, but also added online notifications if something is wrong. This is a potential addional life\pet saver...

Would I get a doorbell cam? Yep. Sounds like a good security addition, and evidence that delivery driver didn't actually ring the bell when they carded me..

Would I buy door locks? Nope, of course not. That's iot clickbait.

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When you turn off the HVAC, the walls and objects in your house get cold (or hot, depending on climate / season). This means that when the system comes back on, it requires more energy to return the house to the desired temperature.

That bit is correct. However, there will still be energy savings because of the lower temperature difference between inside and outside during the time the HVAC is off. And energy loss is proportional to temperature difference across a barrier (walls, windows, roof, floor), so less difference means lower losses.

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I have a Hive. Although I'm moderately happy with it, it does none of the clever things you said ( like turn on earlier, weather forecasting ).

Having read their change logs, it does seem like they have a one man software department.

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What could possibly go wrong?

Damn near everything!

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Unhappy

Very old quotation

Against man's stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.

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Devil

what do you mean you don't carry a 9v battery with you at all times?

No, but I might start to carry them, plus one of these.

I also might want to test them regarding EMP hardening.

As an aside, I expect a lot of people to carry USB power banks. If those locks operate on 4 AA's, so 6V, then a power bank with an adapter cable will probably be sufficient to revive a doorlock with dead batteries.

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Re: what do you mean you don't carry a 9v battery with you at all times?

So rather than a 2" x 1/8th" key that weighs practically nothing, I have to carry a 4"x1/2" power bank that weighs about 8oz.

That's definitely progress.

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buttons?!

with one press on a smartphone?! who wants to have to do that? can it not use location based awareness with a sufficient degree of accuracy that it unlocks as i arrive at my front door? one of my favourite things about my hue system is the way my hallway turns on at night (it is quite dark near my door)

obviously just pray no one ever finds out you have this system or they only have to steal your phone to also gain entry to your entire house and not even be caught on video nicking it all

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Re: buttons?!

"with one press on a smartphone?! who wants to have to do that? can it not use location based awareness with a sufficient degree of accuracy that it unlocks as i arrive at my front door? one of my favourite things about my hue system is the way my hallway turns on at night (it is quite dark near my door)"

We bought an under $20 bit that screws into the light socket, then screwed the bulb in, that has a light/motion sensor which turns the light on if 1. It's dark outside and 2. It senses motion. Use one on porch light and one on garage outside light.

Use the visor-mounted opener for garage door, key on house door lock. Save bunches of money and no worries about data-slurping or subscriptions. Yep, first world solution in search of a problem.

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Devil

"Smart security system"

Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

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One Ruling System

The goal to all of this is of course that one closed system controls your life. Be it OK Google, Hey Alexa, Bixby, or Siri, the first design criteria is non-compatibility. The consumer MUST not be given the choice of the best individual product -- they may ONLY buy those that are compatible with their system.

A generation ago there were "minicomputers", with the thousand pound gorilla being Digital Equipment. When they came out with what would be their final system, even the paper for the printer had to be purchased from them. IBM, who had been frozen out of that step in computers, left the system relatively open, even letting Microsoft do their version of the operating system.

IBM and the rest of the "Personal Computer" crowd won, Digital went out of business.

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WTF?

Re: One Ruling System

When they came out with what would be their final system, even the paper for the printer had to be purchased from them.

EXPN.

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Alternative integration services IFTTT and Stringify

I've been experimenting with smart home devices in a small way just for interest: I have Google Home Mini, a Ring doorbell, a Nest Protect smoke/CO alarm, and a handful of TP-Link smart WiFi switches and bulbs. It has been fun and interesting to see what I can do with them, and I do find some of the functions useful. But I can totally appreciate the article's comments on the lack of multi-brand integration and the cost of going with a whole-home solution.

There is some hope in the form of alternative integration services than can talk to most of these devices, not just local hubs you have to purchase, but free internet services as well. IFTTT is probably the simplest and best know, while Stringify is more powerful. I can for example have the motion-detector presence sensor of the Nest alarm toggle my Home/Away status at Stringify, which in turn controls the daily on/off pattern of my home lights. And I can ask Google Home to run any Stringify routine with a key phrase.

However it does worry me how much personal information I'm giving away with all these devices. I have little idea how much data is being recorded and retained, or where it's going.

I also worry that these devices are designed for a relatively short lifespan, and the services that support them could go out of business or radically alter their cost or terms at any time. This is a far cry from home improvements that you install once and then expect to last the lifetime of the home.

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Re: Alternative integration services IFTTT and Stringify

This is a far cry from home improvements that you install once and then expect to last the lifetime of the home.

My landlord, who also built my home, has a fix for that problem. He doesn't modify your smart gadgets to last longer, he just builds the home to fall apart sooner. Then you'll find that your smart gadget outlasts your home.

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Anyone that buys these products deserves to be spied on and have their privacy violated

The subject line pretty much says it all. Yeah, I want a thermostat that has a camera in it and a mic so I can be surveiled 24 x 7. That sounds like a great idea given how out of control and corrupt our government is. I'm sure the oligarchs a Google would never conspire and work with the NSA and other government agencies who violate the citizens 4th amendment rights on a massive scale already. Then again, anyone with a smart phone has already given away all their rights.

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FAIL

Spy Cloud FAIL

"Alexa, please notify the Cloud Spying Service that I want to open my front door."

And of course, when your Internet connection goes down, your whole house stops working. Where are the community projects developing open standards for home automation that don't involve Amazon or Google or Apple slurping up all of the telemetry data from your "smart" home?

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"For example, Nest has put a "jumpstart" pair of contacts discreetly underneath its Yale smartlock"

You do realize that's an industry standard feature of every single e-lock of any kind that isn't a complete joke (and arguably of many that are), right? The two different ones that just happen to be on my desk right now both have it without making a fuss out of it...

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The future is disappointing

No flying car, no jetpack, and now "the first truly connected home" turns out to be nothing more than a doorbell and thermostat that can talk to each other for no adequately explained reason. Where's my creepy voyeur robot house voiced by Pierce Brosnan?

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Money for old rope...

This article either illustrates the ignorance of the author in this field or is an advertorial for Nest. As the founder of a true integrated and highly connected home automation system (IDRATEK LTD) I can tell you that these products and features do not even come close to what 'truly connected' or 'integrated' actually means. Over 15 years ago we were already delivering something which approaches this description a bit more accurately. Having a single button or voice command doing nultiple things is nothing more exciting that an old fashioned construct such a 'macro' could achieve. The truly important objective of interaction and integration is automation - Things that happen by themselves in as much as they can reasonably do so without significant errors (leading to user irritation). To say nothing of reliability over years of use. The idea of having to connect a 9V battery to circumvent the occasional premature battery failure or having to have an external power supply for a security camera, whilst better than nothing (?) is risible and an indication of how much thought went into quick sales over customer satisfaction and other important factors such as security. No, this does not herald the onset of the 'truly connected home'. This has already been arounfd for over a decade and miles ahead of what is being described here.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Money for old rope...

Be civil, Karam.

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Re: Money for old rope...

Send me a product I can review and I'll be delighted to let readers know about it.

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Which Dave?

Sorry...I was thinking the correct response should be "Dave's not here."

Then repeat mindlessly multiple times.

Either way I'm dating myself...

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"Early adopters", aka road kill on the high tech high way.

Quite literally, in Tempe, AZ this week.

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