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'Works with Nest' program gains traction with 15 new smart device integrations

Michael Brown | Jan. 6, 2015
The Nest smart thermostat isn’t new, but it’s one of the hot trends at CES.

Nest also announced a number of "coming soon" features, including integration with the Beep Dial that will turn down the music if the Nest Project goes off; a tie-in with Zuli Smartplugs that will help your Nest thermostat know which room you're in and what you want the temperature there to be; and the ChargePoint Home EV charging station, which will communicate with the Nest thermostat so that it can inform you when energy is in high demand and electricity is the most expensive.

So much for conventional wisdom
Finally, Big Ass Fans announced that starting in February, its Haiku with SenseME ceiling fan will collaborate with the Nest thermostat to determine when it's cold enough in the house for the fan to switch to "winter mode." The conventional wisdom with ceiling fans is that reversing their spin when its cold will push warm air that's accumulated near the ceiling down to where you need it. But the engineers at Big Ass Fans were skeptical of that idea.

"We tested it out in our R&D lab," Big Ass Fans spokesperson Katheran Wasson told me in an email. "A typical five-blade fan in reverse created drafts in nearly half of a standard room, but Haiku--moving in a forward direction--limited drafts to less than 1 percent of the space. But we wanted that number to be zero, so our engineers developed a new algorithm for SenseME that runs Haiku faster when you leave the room and slower when you're in the room. You never feel a draft, but your room stays consistently comfortable throughout."

Why this matters: The 'Works with Nest' program is off to a very strong start. It will be interesting to see how its momentum impacts the race to develop a de facto standard for the Internet of Things.

The AllSeen Alliance (charter members include Qualcomm and Cisco), the Open Interconnect Consortium (backed by Intel and Samsung, among others), and the Nest Labs-backed Thread Group (which also counts ARM Holdings and Samsung, hedging its bet, as backers), as well as numerous other organizations, are all vying to create the communication standard for smart devices.


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