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Nest opens its APIs to developers and hackers

Wants to define the smart home standard
Tue Jun 24 2014, 11:13

nest-thermostatGOOGLE'S NEST SUBSIDIARY opened its Developer Programme on Tuesday.

The smart thermostat maker, which was bought by Google earlier this year for $3.2bn, has opened its platform APIs as a common standard for smart home devices.

Nest founder Matt Rogers told readers of the company blog, "What we're doing is making it possible for your Nest devices to securely interact with the things you already use every day. Things like lights, appliances, fitness bands and even cars. Because when we make connections between these different parts of your life, we can create personalized experiences that do even more to keep you comfortable and safe."

The company cited examples ranging from lightbulbs to surveillance cameras that can be made to work together under the "Works with Nest" banner. Parent company Google will also add commands that refer to Nest smart home functions to the Google Now personal assistant service.

A number of interactions are in place at launch, including setting your Mercedes Benz car to tell your thermostat when you're nearly home, setting your Whirlpool washing machine to start its spin cycle when you go out and setting your smart lightbulbs to flash when you have loud music on.

However, some enterprising hackers have taken matters into their own hands. The team at GTV Hacker have discovered a back door exploit in the Linux code, which it says will allow it to boot unsigned code at boot-loader level.

Although the initial threat of having a virus that makes your house a bit warmer than normal doesn't seem life-threatening, the common standard announced today could lead to more serious repercussions if the connected home becomes enslaved in a botnet.

Earlier this week, Nest announced its acquisition of webcam maker Dropcam for $555m. µ


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