Google Now allows users to talk to their Nest thermostats due to an integration with the temperature regulator. The digital assistant is the latest upgrade of the high-tech thermostat and is designed to provide more ease to the lives of its users. The thermostat will be able to recognize, understand and follow voice instructions, such as “raise the temperature a bit higher,” or “lower it.” The Nest will likewise be able to determine when its owner comes home, and then automatically adjust the temperature accordingly, to set the home at a right temperature.
Google Now’s integration with the Nest thermostat is one of the initial fruits of the $3.2 billion collaboration of Google and Nest. Though the integration needs more work, it is already running on both iOS and Android.
A voice command is one of the quickest ways to control the thermostat. There is no need to click or type anything. The conversational voice of humans is something mobile devices already understand, thanks to the existence of the famous Siri, Google Now and Cortana.
Google and its digital assistant, Google Now, works well with not just smartphones, but also with a tablet and a browser via Google search. Thus, with the integration with Nest, it turns the thermostat into a more intelligent device.
The location of the owner’s phone helps the thermostat know when the owner is heading home. The app recognizes that the owner is coming and estimates the time he will arrive. When the owner arrives, he may want it to be warmer, and this is when Google’s predictive skill comes in.
For those who wish to use Google Now to talk to their Nest thermostat, those who are used to commanding Google Now are good to go. Hot words are still the key, like a simple “Turn,” “Set,” “Increase” or “Lower” the desired temperature to the desired heat or cool setting. Owners will only have to talk, as there are already several permutations. However, giving voice commands may not apply all the time, for instance during the night when other people are sleeping.
Existing Nest thermostats do not know where their owners are yet and cannot understand voice commands. They should be activated with Google Now.
The setup is done at workswithnest.google.com. The user should click, “Yes, I’m in,” before proceeding to log in with a Nest username and password in order to connect Nest to a Google account. Account connection needs to be done twice – first, for the thermostat to predict when the owner is coming home; and second, to control the temperature regulator with voice commands. At each connection, the owner picks which service to activate.
Users can turn off the Google Now feature when they feel like it. After all, they are still in control.
With Google Now allowing users to talk to their Nest thermostat, the temperature regulator is rising to a higher level. With this advancement comes another addition to the Internet of Things, which uses technology to make lives at home easier and more convenient.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Ben+Sam – Flicker License