Google's smart home springs to life: Mercedes, Jawbone, & more tap new Nest API

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Google today debuted the Nest smart thermostat developer API with launch partners Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone, IFTTT, Logitech, LIFX, and Whirlpool.

Nest announced plans to debut a developer program last year. At that time, Nest senior product manager Greg Hu stressed that Nest always intended to offer a developer program but said it wasn’t a priority early on.

Now, five months after Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion, it looks like Google’s connected home is right around the corner.

The news comes just a day before the start of Google I/O, the company’s developer conference. Google will host a session at I/O devoted to Nest’s new developer API.

Update: Check out our preview of everything we expect to see at Google I/O.

Matt Rogers, Nest’s co-founder and VP of engineering, tells VentureBeat that the company has already seen more than 5,000 early signups for its developer API.

“There are partners that have great hardware … now we’re able to leverage what we built and what they built,” Rogers says.

Rogers also says Nest remains “very committed to iOS,” though he noted that Nest won’t be willing to implement any specialized hardware required by Apple (which is a crucial part of Apple’s HomeKit platform). Nest and Apple will be meeting soon, though it’s unclear if that will lead to much, Rogers says.

Nest is also launching the Thoughtful Things Fund together with Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, which will focus on small first round investments in connected home startups.

Early integrations with the Nest API are focused on simplicity. For Jawbone, Google says the Up24 band can tell the Nest thermostat “to heat up or cool down your home before you even step out of bed.” Nest’s smoke detector can tell LIFX smart light bulbs to “flash red to let you know there might be danger and help alert those who are hearing impaired.” And for Mercedes owners, your car can now tell your Nest thermostat when you’re heading home so it can “start heating or cooling at exactly the right time.”

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