back to article The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

Along with World+Dog, Google is trumpeting its Internet of Things vision at CES. It's pure accident that it looks, to the sceptical eye, like a world in which there's a single API to invade everybody's lives. At first glance it looks like the typical Utopian vision of Silicon Valley, but Vulture South took a second look and …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Connections

    And how willl the suppliers ensure that Electricity, a fast Connection and the Network will function 100% of the time.

    How does one protect themselves from the future Stuknets and Regins ?

    I will remain old and boring for many long years before accepting any of this technology which I believe is only being built/provided in order that mass surveilance is accepted into your home by you....

    I'll be the one with the tinfoil wrapped faraday cage house....

    1. Matt 21

      Re: Connections

      I'm with you, I just can't see the point. It does rather have the feel of a solution looking for a problem.

  2. Andrew 73
    Stop

    The Internet of Veal Fattening Pens

    Minimal brain or body effort so we're juicier when it comes to making Soylent Green from our organs.

    1. Sporkinum

      Re: The Internet of Veal Fattening Pens

      Soylent green are dry little crackers. If that's what is going on, it should be more like letting the grain dry in the fields so you don't have to waste as much energy drying in production. Crank the heat up in the pens to jerky-ize the protein. That way the protein pays and not Soylent Corp.

  3. Bad Beaver

    "Everything works just swell …

    … while it works."

    Seriously, I am delighted that there are places on this lump of space-dirt where internet and leccy are so reliable that you can make this stuff work. One must be really, really satisfied to add a slew of complications and sources of possible failure to one's daily grind. So if people want to pay good money for their own personal orwellian nightmare I won't stop them. Go ahead.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a nation where there are more firearms than people, such concerns probably do not even register.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't see the point

    I've yet to see a single use case for this garbage that's of any practical use other than looking a bit cool. In fact mostly these devices seem to increase the complexity of your life, having to think and make decisions and rules about that previously you'd have dealt with trivially by flipping a switch. What a waste of time and money!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't see the point

      A simple use-case - how about an alarm?

      You can buy a number of devices from a number of different manufacturers - a smart lock, simple wall plug CCTV, PIR sensor, outdoor floodlight for instance.

      Any combination of these can be used to determine if there is a burglar (or fire, or panic alarm etc), send an alarm to your mobile, PC, e-mail and allow you to log straight in to your CCTV to see if there is an issue and, with a different module, allow you to fire an alarm, speak over your connected speaker, flash your lights etc. A hidden module using a SIM as well as the regular broadband could provide redundancy.

      For a fraction of the cost of an integrated alarm you have a fully customised wireless system and you no longer need to pay ridiculous rates to an alarm monitoring company.

      1. love not war

        Re: Don't see the point

        Where the hell do you live?

        Why don't you simply lock your door and call the police/insurance company if you do happen to be burgled (or other appropriate services in other cases).

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Facepalm

    change your thermostat settings when you arrive (warm the house up)

    Which at this time of year means that the house should be nicely up to temperature a few hours later. Just in time for me to go to bed. This idea of the heating going on and off with my movements seem to completely ignore the inherent latency in most heating systems. My heating manages to raise temperature at 2 degrees an hour during winter, sometimes less on a really cold day. At this time of year my heating needs more of a head start than 'oh look, he's putting his keys in the front door'.

    Luckily I have a thermostat with optimum start that I bought over a decade ago. It's not connected to the cloud but it does know how long it takes my heating to do things so it ensures that the house at the temperature I want when I need it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yep. We've got UFH in the downstairs of our house and it takes hours to warm up. You need to treat it like a giant night store and run it from the early hours of the morning, but it'll keep pumping out heat hours after its turned off. We renovated our house (its a 1820's Cornish stone cottage) 4 years a go and packed it full of insulation, the result is downstairs its not often below 18 we've hardly had the heating (wood burner and UFH) on all winter I think we've lit the burner maybe 6 times and had the UFH on about the same since the start of winter. We tend only to need to have the heating on every other day even when its really cold. We have a Heatmeiser control system (not the internet connected one) and its pretty good. You set the heating to be a certain temperature at certain times during the day, up to 4 different programs per day can be added and that's more than enough. We have ours set upstairs to be 18 degrees a little before wakeup time and an hour or so before bedtime. With nice old school column rads the temp will go up to around 19 or 20

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Designed in and for western USA

        In all these discussions, you have to remember that these devices were designed and built by young men living single professional lives in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California.

        They assume the following:

        - One or two professional inhabitants in a house with a regular schedule

        - (as others have pointed out) highly reliable power and internet

        - Single family home or condominium, recently built, with highly controllable forced air heating and cooling

        - moderate climate without big extremes of cold or heat

        etc. etc.

        Since most of these assumptions don't apply to the majority of people in the world (outside their milieu), the market for these devices is pretty limited.

        It's an unfortunate manifestation of the same blinkered approach to product and web design that assumes every user will have a 24" high def screen and super fast internet for their computer, every user is 20-30 with a 6 figure income, perfect health, perfect connectivity at all times.

        Adult supervision is required, but missing from most of these companies "because young people are smarter"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Designed in and for western USA

          "in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California."

          and

          "highly reliable power and internet"

          I'm not convinced that those go together.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      FAIL

      And when it's -10 outside and I've popped out to the shops for an hour I don't want the heating deciding "oh, he's gone out, I'll switch off now".

      As for phones that let you know if your kid's not home from school yet, if (s)he's young enough that you need to know, shouldn't you be at home when they arrive? Will we have a new generation of IoT latchkey kids, the house is expected to feed and watch them while Mum's out at the bingo with the smartphone childminder app?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seriously? You'd think a site for tech professionals would be a little more insightful into ways this could work, whether you want it or not, is completely your choice and you may have absolutely no benefit in these devices or think the privacy/security risk is too much.

      However in specific cases, the idea that there are just dumb engineers creating these things with no idea how a heating system works or how a family works is stupid. The idea with these devices is to control them exactly how you want. If you just want a timed thermostat then they can act like that, however if you realise you are going to be away on business for a couple of extra days with the house empty you can just let your thermostat know to remain on a low setting for a few more days, or ... you 'lifetrack' could notice that your trip has been extended and recommend turning your thermostat down and keeping your lights on random and recording your favourite TV programs, for instance?

      It may notice that you leave work at 5pm, get home at 6pm but your heating goes on a 4pm as it take two hours to warm up. Well it might notice that tonight you are working late and make the recommendation to lower the temperature down a bit until it detects you are leaving work when it ramps it back up?

      I'm unlikely to kit my house out in this tech, but it isn't for the reason that I am too shortsighted to think that the tech can't possibly have any examples where it might be useful to someone. I can understand issues of privacy, security, expense etc

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        you are going to be away on business for a couple of extra days with the house empty you can just let your thermostat know to remain on a low setting for a few more days

        Which mine can also do. I can also tell it that I'm going to be at home tomorrow so use the Sunday program. Or I can tell it I'm having friends over so run the Sunday program for the next few hours. The only thing I can't do is remotely control it although apparently there was once a telephone remote control module you could buy for it.

        My main issue really is with the heuristic guessing logic and the much vaunted 'just in time heating' which was what I was complaining about here. It's a bit like cooking dinner for your partner. If they say they are going to be an hour late that's fine. But if they say 'I'll be a bit late' it throws everything into question. It'll be a sad day for humanity when your thermostat responds to a command by asking 'Yes, but how late is late exactly?'.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          passive aggression

          It'll be a sad day for humanity when your thermostat responds to a command by asking 'Yes, but how late is late exactly?'.

          just wait until it responds by sighing and saying 'fine, no problem' in that voice and then later tells the washing machine to exit quiet mode once you turn the telly on.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "you are going to be away on business for a couple of extra days with the house empty you can just let your thermostat know to remain on a low setting for a few more days

          Which mine can also do"

          How can you do this if it has no remote control. You are on business, you then find you are going to be away a couple of extra days, so you have to fly back to your house turn off the thermostat and fly back to your business trip? I can't see how your device can automatically know unless you already have sensors which detect your presence in the house, in which case you are partly towards exactly what you were deriding about anyway, without the useful bits.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge

            How can you do this if it has no remote control. You are on business, you then find you are going to be away a couple of extra days

            Sorry, I misread what you wrote(*). Obviously that wouldn't be possible. As I wrote a bit later on remote control could occasionally be useful. What I'm taking issue with is the idea of it turning my heating on based solely on a location change (or lack thereof). In most cases that would be too late to do anything. I have a 90 minute commute but during winter that often wouldn't be long enough for it start the heating. If I had a more typical half hour commute that'd further reduce the usefulness of the feature.

            (*)Distracted by work. I seem to have broken something this morning :-/

    4. Mark 65

      Yep, it's likely that where the inventors of these concepts live they use reverse cycle air conditioning. Efficient from the perspective of time to feel warm but inefficient from the perspective of feeling cold the instant it's switched off.

  7. Oli 1

    This stuff is still so ten years ago, and the reason for this is because no one seems to be learning from the people that have come and gone over the last 25+ years of automation tech.

    X10 was ok, Z Wave blew it out the water

    now we seem to be going back to lots of propriety systems in places i would never trust them!

    Monitor by front door by all means as an input device, but a z wave lock etc? Get out of town!

    Cant imagine my home insurer would be particularly happy about me ripping out all the 5 lever locks

    I say this all as someone who has had home automation in the house for years, most of the CES stuff is just plain backward, and won't exist come this time next year.

    1. Mike Flugennock
      FAIL

      so TEN years ago...?

      "This stuff is still so ten years ago, and the reason for this is because no one seems to be learning from the people that have come and gone over the last 25+ years of automation tech..."

      So ten years ago? Try forty, even fifty years ago.

      I can remember being a young kid in the mid/late '60s, reading in magazines about how The Home Of The Future was going to remove the drudgery of dealing with stuff like turning up/down/on/off the heating and air conditioning, turning the lights on and off, and how we were going to be able to turn on the AC or heat remotely by dialing up the furnace or air conditioner on our telephones and instructing them to switch on so the house will be all nice and cool/warm and comfy by the time we got home from work in our cars that drive themselves on the Electronic Highway Of Tomorrow.

      These goddamn' Silicon Valley snots really don't get it. Give it up, you guys.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    An idea for an internet of thing, er, thing...

    Can I have a widget that does my 'what have the idiots come up with now' grumbling for me? Ideally, it would monitor my house so it can do it while I'm out... perhaps some sort of Electric Monk (thanks, DNA)?

    (Shades of the video recorder that records things I don't like so it can watch them while I'm out.)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Sigh....

    ... Its Nest integration can “let your washer and dryer know when you’re home and they will automatically switch to quiet mode”

    No if I've set it to spin at 14000 rpm, I want it to spin at 14000 rpm, not 600 because I've come home and need it to run quietly..I want my clothes to be dry, not dripping wet.

    Or is this aimed at London £2m shoebox bedsits where the washing machine is in the lounge next to the cooker and bed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh....

      or buy a better washer. We've got a now 10yr old Siemens IQ1600 and its whisper quiet even when spinning at 1600rpm

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Sigh....

        Mines noisy, but that's because it has a tumble drier and box full of tools on top of it...

    2. Badvok

      Re: Sigh....

      "No if I've set it to spin at 14000 rpm, I want it to spin at 14000 rpm"

      Well, here's a tip, if you really want to hack your machine to make it sound like a harrier jump jet taking off and then blow itself to bits don't buy/use the controller.

  10. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The basket is likely more fragile than all the eggs...

    One of my storage heaters started overheating around Christmas and had to be turned off. The input thermostat had stopped working after 25 years. A tiny microweld caused by contact arcing was the cause - soon solved by prising the contacts open and applying some fine emery paper. It will almost certainly go on working for another 25 years. Fortunately, as the weather was cold, it was not the only source of heating in the house.

    I don't know what the design lifetime of a Google Thing might be, but the history of reliability and support for Internet-enabled consumer devices is terrible. Bringing all the critical aspects of your domestic environment together in a single point of failure that will probably need to be replaced every five years and upgraded every few months compares very unfavourably with a distributed network of bendy metal (lock springs and thermostats) with a working life of decades.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: The basket is likely more fragile than all the eggs...

      I don't know what the design lifetime of a Google Thing might be

      Certainly not 25 years, particularly if you are talking backend support rather than just physical robustness... even the BBC has noticed. Interesting round on Only Connect last night where the sequence went:

      Health (2008 - 2011)

      Answers (2002 - 2006)

      Reader (2005 - 2013)

      Wave (2009 - 2010)

      What's the connection? Just add "Google". Victoria Coren-Mitchel's comment afterwards was her usual standard, too; "that's good, now we know all our private medical information is safe and secure!"

      M.

  11. WraithCadmus
    Pint

    Smart Thermostats

    Nest is tempting me but I don't need (or want) the presence guessing and the links to everything else.

    Are there any that can just learn how long your home takes to warm up and have a facility so you can tell it "Don't come on this evening, I'm off to the pub instead"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart Thermostats

      yep take a look at www.heatmiser.com

      1. That one over there

        Re: Smart Thermostats

        or the newish Honeywell EvoHome gubbins, seems good as it can mix TRV and underfloor heating and learns the room heating profiles

        http://www.honeywelluk.com/products/Systems/Zoned/evohome-Main/

        Already saving the many many pennies required...

        1. WraithCadmus
          Flame

          Re: Smart Thermostats

          Thanks That One and AC, it's a small flat so multiple zones should be unnecessary (also no UFH) so the Heatmiser looks better right now. Also having the API might be lulzy.

          Icon: Hopefully only when I'm in

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart Thermostats

      Yes it can do just this if you want it to.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Smart Thermostats

      Are there any that can just learn how long your home takes to warm up and have a facility so you can tell it "Don't come on this evening, I'm off to the pub instead"?

      What about one that looks at the gas bill and then sends you a text saying "if you come home now it'll cost you another £5 in heating. Why not go to the pub instead?". I could go for that sort of smart meter.

    4. Valerion

      Re: Smart Thermostats

      Try Tado.

      It learns how long your house takes to warm, and gets weather details from t'web so it knows if it's going to be a bit colder the next day and therefore comes on earlier. When you configure it you set a temperature/time setting, i.e. from 8am-8pm I want it at 23C. Then it will warm the house so it is ready at 23C for 8am, and then maintain that throughout.

      You run an app on your phone and it detects when you leave the house and turns off the heating. When it detects you're coming back it fires up the heating again so it's warm when you get back. Obviously how successful this is depends on how far away you were and how quickly you get back.

      I've had it for nearly a year now and like it a lot. They promise 30% savings or your money back (or something like that). I'm not sure I've got that much saving as it's hard to quantify, and they haven't taken into account the fact that my wife can now adjust the temperature up to ridiculous levels without having to get up whereas before laziness might have kept her on the sofa. But overall it's a pretty good bit of kit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart Thermostats

        " they haven't taken into account the fact that my wife can now adjust the temperature up to ridiculous levels "

        23C is already a ridiculous level IMHO...

        1. Valerion

          Re: Smart Thermostats

          I ain't arguing.... Welcome to winter in my house, where the heating is on stupidly high. Honestly, half the time I end up in a t-shirt, opening windows as I'm so hot, whilst SWMBO is still shivering in a jumper with a blanket around her.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart Thermostats

        It learns how long your house takes to warm, and gets weather details from t'web so it knows if it's going to be a bit colder the next day

        Hope it has a better forecast than round here. Local forecast can say 10C and sunny when it's actually snowing outside :)

        and therefore comes on earlier. When you configure it you set a temperature/time setting, i.e. from 8am-8pm I want it at 23C. Then it will warm the house so it is ready at 23C for 8am, and then maintain that throughout.

        But I dont want my whole house at 23C, that's a waste on days when I'm just going to work. I might want the bedroom at 12-15C overnight, brought up to maybe 20 when I'm ready to get up, and the bathroom at a cosy 24 so I can shower in comfort. During the week I'm fine with the living room making it to maybe 20 before I leave for work, the rest of the house I don't care about. Unless we have guests when the guest bedroom might need to be warmed up, but not so early because my Mum isn't going to be up early for work. At a weekend I may want the living/dining rooms at 21, kitchen at 20 but adjusted if the oven is on, etc.

        In shoulder season I may only need the bathroom heated in the mornings, the rest of the house stays adequately warm, so no point in firing up the whole central heating for that, a mixed-mode electric/hot water towelrail radiator does the job, fed by the CH in winter and on a separate electric timer-driven circuit for spring/autumn.

        I don't think that any sensibly priced and easy to configure automated system would ever get that right, and it's not an especially unusual set of demands.

      3. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Smart Thermostats

        ...or, I could just hit the National Weather Service page for my city, check the forecast for the next few days, then take a few steps down the hall to the thermostat and tweak the heat up a few degrees. Done.

    5. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Smart Thermostats

      Are there any that can just learn how long your home takes to warm up and have a facility so you can tell it "Don't come on this evening, I'm off to the pub instead"?

      The former, yes - just search for Optimum Start. I bought my Honeywell CM67 over ten years ago. There's no specific function for 'don't bother this evening' but I can tell it I'm on holiday until tomorrow which should have the same effect.

    6. DougS Silver badge

      ALL modern programmable thermostats can do this

      At least when I was looking to replace one of my Honeywell programmable units the other ones I looked at all did the same thing which the original one from 2005 did. If you set it to 70* at noon, and previously it was set to 65* at 8AM, it will figure out how long it took previously to warm up from 65 to 70 and start warming up so that it has reached 70* by noon.

      I ended up finding a used one of the same model on Ebay for $30, so I didn't have to also replace the remote sensor.

      I don't think Nest ever tried to claim that figuring out how long it takes to get to temperature was any sort of major innovation, since Honeywell at least was doing it years before Nest was invented. I thought it was supposed to learn your habits by having you change it when you want it warmer or colder at different times and eventually it figures it out "hey I always get the heat turned down from 68 to 62 around 7:30AM and turned up from 62 to 68 around 5:30pm M-F so I'll just do that automatically from now on"

  12. censored

    I don't want the thermostat to turn the heat up when I get out of bed

    It's too late, and the house will only just be warm as I'm leaving work.

    That's why I have a seven day programmable timer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't want the thermostat to turn the heat up when I get out of bed

      Errm, that's why it learns when you will be getting out of bed, and how long your house takes to warm up, and turns the heating on at the right time...

      It also knows how long your house will take to cool, and turns it off earlier than you would do. It also knows what the weather outside is doing, and it will act accordingly. I saved £90 in my first year, and my house it at the correct temp all the time now. No heating it unnecessarily when I am not there, unnecessarily when I am there, unnecessarily when it's going to get milder soon etc etc.

      My stat needed replacing at £100 cost, so it made sense to spend another £70 and get the Nest (it looks and feels a million times better than my old bosch thermostat), It's paid for itself already, and the house was toastier this winter despite being colder.

  13. P. Lee

    Machines are awful at complexity

    Its like dealing with someone with autism. You have to tell it everything, in order and be very explicit. Then it will follow those instructions to the letter, whether its sensible or not.

    It's far easier just to turn the light on yourself.

    Also the reason why software-defined-everything is unlikely to succeed.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

    Fitted a nest last year, as my old thermostat broke, and they wanted £100 to replace a 12 year old ugly thing. Figured a nest would be ideal. It's brilliant, tangible energy savings, and the house warm when you need it and not when you don't.

    This years energy bill is substantially lower, despite being colder, and nest will have paid for itself by next year, it also looks and works great.

    There is a movement sensor in nest, so if you are home then it doesn't matter what other connected sensors are saying. Secondly, what sort of person locks themselves IN the house? Very dangerous if you have a fire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

      hmmm I think the oft quoted "savings" are a bit dubious. It certainly wouldn't save me any cash and I don't think it would pay for itself as long as you have a relatively modern CH system and a bit of common! Its a bit like you can save £XXXXXXX's by switching your energy supplier. Well if you're on the standard tariff you could save yourself £XXXXXX's by switching but you'd only save this large figure once! Once you've switched to the cheapest tariff you can find the next time you look to switch the cheapest will only be a few £'s cheaper than the one you're on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

        The savings are real. I haven't change my tarif, my heating has been on less AND the house is warmer. It sounds too good to be true for some, but Nest is revolutionary, it's algorithms work well (the northern Europe version is simpler, as it only supports call for heat, not cooling).

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

          Shill much?

    2. Thomas 6

      Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

      "Secondly, what sort of person locks themselves IN the house?"

      I would guess most people. Do you leave your doors unlocked when you are in the house, even when you are asleep?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

        we've just had two brand new UPVC stable doors installed in our house and very nice they are too, mind you they weren't cheap! One of the doors has a normal key lock but the other one they fitted with a knob on the inside to lock\unlock the door so in the case of a fire you can get out of the door without a key

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

        I would guess most people.

        Indeed, I haven't got the faintest idea who he's supposed to be talking about - I remember seeing in the historical documentary "Hot Shots" that even Indians used to have several latches (that they kept closed at all times) on their teepees! Maybe he's living in an igloo, that would explain the lack of experience with doors and the concerns about open fire...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

        errm, virtually all doors these days don't need locking to be secure. You need to key to open them from the outside, to get out from the inside, just push the handle.

        I have a mate that works in the fire service and knows of at least two serious/fatal incidents where the braindead owners locked the front door at night and couldn't get out in a fire.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

          that might be correct with Yale style locks (the ones where you can lock yourself out very easy!) but not with the normal locks fitted to UPVC doors. You need a key to lock it.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Nigel 11

      Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

      Secondly, what sort of person locks themselves IN the house? Very dangerous if you have a fire.

      Anyone who has surprised a burglar at 4am. (Lucky for me he wasn't the violent type, just shoved me out of the way and ran).

      Since then I have always locked the five-lever mortice lock at night. For fire safety I leave the key in the lock (it's attached to the door by a chain to prevent somebody pushing it out from the other side of the keyhole and retrieving it). Also I suspect if the fire alarm goes off, my best move is to exit pdq via the bedroom window, not to open the bedroom door at all.

    5. Afernie
      Joke

      Re: My nest is on track to pay for itself in year 2

      "It's brilliant, tangible energy savings, and the house warm when you need it and not when you don't."

      And have you worked for Google long?

  15. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Don't want the data, just the control...

    I'm perfectly happy setting the 7 day timer for hot water and heating as needed. What would be more useful is the ability to remotely (i.e. smartphone app) change the programme and turn on/off as I see fit.

    I don't want any other party constantly collecting data, I don't want anything integrated with the cloud, I don't want all that complexity, I just want a simple way of accessing the controls when away from home, and more generally, a better interface for adjusting the programme settings.

  16. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Whirlpool

    So if you want to do the washing it will not do anything noisy until you leave, its bad enough waiting for a regular washing machine to finish, let alone having to leave the house!

  17. GrumpyOldMan

    Tinfoil Hats Unite!

    I'm in. I too simply don't see the point. Why do things need the internet? I don't want my fridge re-ordering unwanted stuff, or my washing machine deciding when to wash. If I want to was while I'm out I have a thing called a 'Timer Switch' I can set to do that. As has already been stated it's a solution looking for a problem. Or a Marketing Opportunity! I have long held a belief in technology and science that just because you can does not mean you should. The problem with much of this stuff is - as I see it - at least two-fold. It takes away even more of what makes us human. Little by little the stuff we normally do becomes automated and we have less and less to do, so whats the point? Where will it end? Eventually our jobs become automated - industrial revolution refined - unemployment rises, no work to do, lack of self-worth kicks in, etc etc. I'm with Steven Hawking on this one. Secondly the data collected is out of our control. Ok if it's aggregated and anonymised (sorry spellchecker - it's NOT spelt with a 'z') but who believes that's going to happen any time soon? And where is THAT going to end? And how long before vulnerabilities are exposed that could become fatal? Heating goes full blast in a heatwave and kills an old person or sleeping child through heatstroke? Or switches off in a sub-zero winter? And they are the obvious ones. Personally, Don't trust it; Don't need it; Don't want it; Won't have it -and if I have to cos in 5 years it's in everything, will refuse it connection to my network and just disable it in the appliance. Or wrap it in tin foil....

    1. TaabuTheCat

      Re: Tinfoil Hats Unite!

      "Why do things need the internet?"

      How else are they going to collect subscription fees?

  18. batfastad

    Solutions

    Looking for problems. With some "cloud" marketing guff spaffed on top.

  19. a well wisher

    With the average UPVC door they DO need to be locked from inside !

    "errm, virtually all doors these days don't need locking to be secure. You need to key to open them from the outside, to get out from the inside, just push the handle."

    With the average UPVC door they do !!

    if you don't want your house broken into + car stolen !

    Very common for a large bent lever to be pushed thru the letter box to apply downward pressure on the handle - Bingo ! door open, car keys usually on the hook by the door

    http://www.diynot.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=188463

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    I've saved....

    ...thousands on my heating bills. My "body" is an amazing connected device, it tells the "brain" it's a bit cold and the "brain" tells me to put a warmer layer of clothing on. When the "body" is warm enough because the heating is up to temperature, the "brain" sends a signal saying it's ok to remove the extra layer.

    Fuckign Technology is amazing.

    1. Tim Jenkins

      "Fuckign Technology is amazing"

      and can be replicated by most keen amateurs in 6-9 months by applying more Fuckign (assuming compatible and opposite gametes)

      Sadly, then takes 15-25 years to mature into useful next-generation technology, if you're lucky....

  21. gfx

    The Google Nest doesn't modulate only on/off so it doesn't use the gas saving technology already available in most thermostats.

    Our house is reasonably isolated so I don't let it cool down to far at night 19 degrees but only when it freezes the heater comes on at night, radiators get lukewarm. During the day the timer increases the temperature at 0,5 degrees intervals ending with 21 degrees after dinner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I see the latest government recommendation isn't for occupied rooms to be heated to 21 anymore (WAYYYYYYYY to warm!) they've changed the guideline to heat to a minimum of18 (I think)

  22. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    love the system

    at the risk of reader disgust/pity/abuse I have to confess I love my Nested up house. My partner is rather into candles and incense and the like and I'm a passionate kitchen abuser and pre-nest (smoke alarms), we ended up taking the alarms off because of so many false alarms. Which on two occasions means rather more damage caused by candles gone wrong than we'd ideally have liked.. (a touch of understatement there)..

    the nests can be hushed - before they go off - (yes yes, that wavey hand thing was daft) with a swift push of a button on the alarm itself. So they're now always up and running.. success!!

    as to the thermostat - it does know how long my house takes to warm up and cool down (at 4C ambient, it takes 30 mins for 0.5C across the house with the vent system open)

  23. Nick Pettefar

    Single and "Normal"

    I think these devices are developed for a single person living in a simple flat, as it seems are a lot of things. That is the only way in which the simplistic algorithms can work. We are a long way away from machines that can interact with a family or even a couple. We have many rooms in our house and are a couple with a small child. There is no pattern to our activities apart from me going to work and as I often work early and late shifts (NOC support) then this isn't a routine either. There is no chance of accurately programming this and any device would have to track whether any of us are in any of the rooms if it wants to turn the heating down or off. Ideally we would want the bedroom temperatures turned right down during the day and then warmed up a bit before we go to bed, whatever time that is. We want the heating in the kitchen-diner turned up when we eat but down otherwise, unless we are cooking, unless we get too hot from the cooking. Ditto for the bedroom if we want to go there for something other than sleeping, if the child is asleep, etc. It's all so complicated!

    I bought a Google Nest but it doesn't control the heating and the installation instructions don't seem to cover our Honeywell installation and the Nest support people aren't interested. I will most likely return it.

    What you/we really need is a system that can control the individual radiators individually, in other words remote-controlled radiator valves with room thermostats, not a central monitor and control.

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