Nest: A Starter Package for Smart Homes
“Smart cities” is an increasingly popular buzzword in the tech world today. It spells out the future for urban living in the next decade. But cities won’t be smart if we don’t start at the smallest unit— the home. An emerging trend in consumer electronics shows and even amongst tech gurus is the rise of artificially intelligent furniture aimed to transform living spaces into smart homes.
Yes, it sounds quite freaky at the start but don’t worry, it’s not like a dystopian future that we all see in the movies. It’s more of a future where our homes embrace technology in its fullest sense. If our smartphones can predict our routines and assist us in our daily tasks, home gadgets are starting to evolve as well.
But what is a ‘smart home’ and how is that transformation happening? Well, imagine accomplishing your house chores with a simple tap on the screen of your mobile phone. Or what about syncing and timing the operations of all of your house appliances with the use of an app? Or perhaps a thermostat that adjusts itself?
According to IT experts like Matt Davis from SCM World, smart homes is a movement from intervention to autonomy. Homes will one day have a uniform platform to operate on like an online or mobile application. Most of us have gotten used to house technology that requires human intervention. We switch the lights on or off; we turn on the TV; we answer the telephone. Basically, devices are independent of each other.
A smart home eliminates the step of doing things “manually”. With increasing development in the Internet of Things, devices are now able to communicate to each other without human intervention. Lights could switch on or off the moment you step out of the house while activating the security webcam at the same time. Speaker volume decreases automatically whenever you take a call or your TV can automatically stream videos right from your computer. Interacting devices is the key here as information is processed on a database. Even robots could be used to help run a home even without you there.
As such, one company is taking a leap into helping consumers transition to smart homes. There aren’t a ton of gadgets out there yet that can do the future-forward things mentioned earlier. But Nest, a California-based company, has started to offer three smart home products that can make a home more autonomous.
Their first product, the Nest Thermostat, replaces the old thermostat that we use to adjust room temperature. With a chic design and vibrant circular screen, it’s thoughtful enough to make adjustments without manually touching it. It is a self-programming device that adjusts accordingly to seasons. Users can actually adjust it remotely through the Nest mobile app.
The device is also thoughtful enough to tell you if you’re saving energy and indeed tells you if you are doing a good job at it. Equipped with a sensor, it lights up when you’re at home and it interacts with other devices like the Nest Smoke Alarm.
The Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm is not your usual smoke alarm because it talks…(Yes, it does.) It’s smart enough to talk to you and smarter enough to tell you where the smoke is coming from (given that there are other Nest Protects installed in your home.) just like the Thermostat, you can adjust the alarm settings on your phone app. Also, when it’s running out of power, it lights up and chirps, reminding you to change batteries. Oh, it also lights up when you’re under it so it’s also a smart lamp.
The Nest Smoke Alarm can detect both fast and slow burning fires. It can detect smoke and carbon monoxide fumes, which is very fatal to us humans! And interestingly, it knows the difference between steam and smoke! (A talent that other smoke alarms do not have.) Finally it can interact with the Nest Thermostat once it senses danger.
When it comes to security, users can purchase a Nest Cam. It’s not just any webcam as it also runs autonomously and can be operated remotely. It has 24/7 live streaming which turns on the moment it senses that you’re going out. It has night vision so you can see what’s going on in your house even at night. It alerts you of unusual occurrences and it can sense false alarms from real threats through its Nest Aware program.
Like the other two devices earlier, you can view the live streaming through your phone and allows you to talk and listen to those at home just like Big Brother. The device is also magnetic, can be mounted on a tripod, and can be sticked to a wall for customized surveillance.
Indeed, Nest has built a starter package for smart home builders. And this is just a sneak peek of an interesting future ahead.