Google bought Nest in 2014 with the plan for big things. The Nest thermostat is one of the most powerful WiFi connected thermostats in the word, but programming the temperature in your home is only the tip of the iceberg.
Google started a program called “Works With Nest” last year that allows Nest to communicate with various other home automation devices. The goal is to make Nest a central part of the home automation system, but not the full controller. For example, if you have Philips Hues lights, there are various apps to control those lights on a regular basis. However, the Nest thermostat can kick things up a notch by adding additional controls since it knows when someone is in or out of the house. If Nest detects that you just arrived at home, it might turn on certain lights, or if you have left the house, it could turn off lights that you forget.
With the announcement of Brillo and Weave at I/O 2015, Nest will be able to communicate with even more devices. Brillo is the operating system that is based on the “lower levels of Android”, while Weave is the communications layer that will allow connected devices to talk to one another. These two ingredients makeup Google’s attempt at the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is about connecting a slew of devices in order to automate and make your life that much easier.
Imagine that your drying clothes and leave the house. Nest senses no one is home so it can switch your dryer to a refresh mode when your cycle ends, keeping your clothes fresh and wrinkle-free. This is something that can already be done through the “Works With Nest” program with Whirlpool washers and dryers.
It is the Brillo OS and the Weave communications layer that will bring even more devices. The Brillo OS will bring new connected devices to market from appliances, door locks, etc. The Weave communications layer will assist in the interaction between Nest and these new devices. Google will release a developer preview version of Brillo during the 3rd quarter of this year, with the first products coming to market in early 2016.
With all this said, Google still has a big hurdle and that is programming. Consumers haven’t adopted home automation because it requires a lot of work to get the most out of it. That is something that I am sure Google is working on and will likely have an answer for by next year’s I/O.
Be sure to check out our complete Google I/O 2015 coverage.