Calling Nest a smart thermostat company would be like calling Google a search engine. It's now becoming much more than that.
Since expanding beyond thermostats and getting acquired by Google, Nest has made it clear it's moving beyond being a maker of smart appliances. It wants to be the company connecting all the stuff in your home.
Nest's new developer program gets it closer to that vision. Last fall, the company said it would open its API and put out a call for developers, big and small, to pitch ideas for new functionality. Nest finally has some new integration as a result.
The Nest learning thermostat and smoke alarm will now connect with washing machines, cars, garage doors, lighting systems and even fitness bands to make them more responsive to a person's daily lifestyle.
The first round of integration features some big companies adding Nest options to their products. Mercedes-Benz will allow drivers to give voice commands to the Nest thermostat will driving. Whirlpool washers and dryers will change their cycles if a homeowner is away or if peak hours are approaching. And Logitech universal remotes will feature a temperature button along with lighting and television controls.
Nest products will also hook up to Chamberlain garage doors, the Jawbone fitness band and LIFX Wi-Fi light bulbs, while also featuring "If this, then that" controls to create new personalized commands.
Finally, the company's products will also respond to commands that sound very similar to those that control Google Glass. Saying "OK Google" will prepare a thermostat to do what the owner wants.
In a statement, Nest's VP of Engineering Matt Rogers said that remaking "unloved" appliances is "only the beginning."
"Our goal has always been to bring this kind of thoughtfulness to the rest of your home and life -- and that’s what the Nest Developer Program is all about," he said.
The announcement comes a week after Nest acquired the video monitoring company Dropcam for $555 million, giving it more visibility in the home and perhaps moving Nest further into security services.
In an effort to cultivate new ideas, Nest is also working with Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins to set up a venture fund supporting outside developers that want to integrate with Nest.
"We're ready to support the next generation of founders and companies to push the boundaries in this space," said Google Ventures General Partner David Krane in a statement.
The boundaries of the connected home are only just being explored. According to a recent survey from Accenture, only 7 percent of U.S. homeowners are using devices for monitoring and controlling home energy use. However, half of all people surveyed said they would consider such products in the next five years.
Nest is planning an event for developers tonight to lay out plans for future product integration.