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New Creatives

I recently gave a talk at the closing event of an EU-funded program to support the creative industries around Coventry and it gave me an opportunity to think about my ‘practice’. This is a word people in the creative industries like. It sounds like ‘craft’ but with more intent, more direction. I don’t think of … Continue reading New Creatives

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Meet the 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat.

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People love the Nest Learning Thermostat because it saves energy. In the UK, it won the H&V News award for Domestic H&V Product of the Year. In Benelux, The Nest Thermostat was honoured by Tweakers in its Best Products Awards. And most importantly, since 2011, the Nest Thermostat has saved over 4 billion kWh of energy in millions of homes worldwide.*But every country is different. So is every home. And even every heating system. That’s why we designed the new 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat for Europe to work even harder to make every home cosy and save energy.*Hot water control
Now you can control your hot water tank from the Nest Learning Thermostat. It comes with a schedule already set up for you, but you can always adjust it from the Nest app. For weekend visitors or extra shower time, you can give your hot water a boost when you need it. And when you’re away for a few days, Auto-Away turns off your hot water so it can help save energy. Why keep it on when you’re n…

The first Nest Home Index.

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There’s one thing we’re endlessly curious about here. We’re fascinated by technology and safety and energy, but really the most important thing at Nest is home. What it means to people. How to make it better. So the Nest Home Index asked a couple thousand homeowners across the US about their houses, what’s inside them, what their plans are and what matters most.The things we noticed most were the differences.There’s a generation gap. Millennials and Baby Boomers think of home – its permanence, its importance – differently.The easiest way to see the change is with one number: 5.4.Both 25-year-olds and 64-year-olds have lived in around five homes in their lives, despite 64-year-olds having lived more than twice as long.Even though the older and younger generations got into the market at the same age – 27 on average – young home buyers are quickly on the lookout for their next house. And the next.And they’d ditch their house right now if they got the right offer.Our favorite rooms in the…

What makes a great security camera?

What’s in HTTP/2 for the Internet of Things? 1/2

If you followed this blog you probably know that the motto of the Web of Things community is to re-use Web protocols to build a truly interoperable Application Layer for the Internet of Things....

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Introducing winter Rush Hour Rewards.

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There’s a reason power gets tight at the worst possible times – in the middle of the coldest cold snap in 20 years, or at the height of a scorching summer afternoon. Extreme weather causes extremely high energy use. Thousands of people turn on the AC or the heat at once, which forces energy companies to bring on more and more (and often dirtier) power plants to deal with the spike.But if everyone used just a little bit less power during those couple hours of peak energy use, we wouldn’t need more power plants. We wouldn’t have any outages.That’s why a couple years ago we launched Rush Hour Rewards. It works in the summertime – Nest Thermostats running Rush Hour Rewards see a peak coming and turn the air conditioning on an hour or two early so they don’t need to use as much energy later. Nine energy companies in New York, California, Texas, Illinois and Ontario signed up, offering incentives for their customers, and summer Rush Hour Rewards became hugely popular. According to our estim…

Make every week Fire Safety Week.

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Fire Safety Week began back in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and educate people about fire hazards and prevention. Here at Nest, we want to help spread the word. So we’re working with The New York Times, insurance and home warranty companies, and the Leary Firefighter Foundation to promote fire safety in a few different ways.A lot has changed since the first Fire Safety Week, including fires themselves. Modern homes are filled with synthetic materials that burn faster and hotter, and open floor plans let fires expand quicker. In fact, today’s homes burn eight times faster on average than they did 30 years ago.To highlight the problem, we worked with The New York Times’ T Brand Studio to produce an interactive piece on the dangers of today’s fires. At the heart is the story of the Ware family in Church Hill, Tennessee, whose home of 15 years was lost in just minutes. Watch the video>Because today’s fires burn so fast, prevention and preparation are critical to keeping s…

New ways to work with Nest.

What does it do? A proposal for connected product labelling.

The problem with connected products is (among other things) that they have a life beyond our actual use of them. Data is collected by manufacturers about how we use our lightbulbs, wristbands, thermostats and more. That data is collected at a particular rate and we often don’t have access to … Continue reading What does it do? A proposal for connected product labelling.

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Ten years of the internet of things through the eyes of Gartner

The end of the summer marks the return to school and a time to digest our favorite summer publication: the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Chart. Every year I feel a bit confused about this graph. Folks in B2B sectors swear by it and have pointed out that in the last two years the internet of things reached … Continue reading Ten years of the internet of things through the eyes of Gartner

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Meet the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat.

The hardest thing about making a smoke alarm.

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It’s not App Silence. Not Nightly Promise. Not Heads-Up or Sound Check or the Nest app. The hardest thing to do, the thing we spent the most time on, the most research, the most stress, is the thing at the heart of every smoke alarm: sensing smoke.It’s not a simple problem. Modern home fires flashover four times faster than 40 years ago. You might only have a few minutes before a fire takes over a room. So smoke sensors need to be highly sensitive, but not so sensitive that they alarm when you’ve just burned some popcorn.The smoke sensor nestled inside the 2nd generation Nest Protect is called the Split-Spectrum Sensor. It’s the most advanced smoke sensor we’ve ever designed. It has a custom shielding to protect it from dust, bugs and light. And it’s paired with precise and complex algorithms. The Split-Spectrum Sensor is the heart of Nest Protect. And today I want to give it its due.To really understand how special this sensor is, you need to know a little bit about smoke alarms. Hom…

Making ourselves happy

I just got off recording a podcast which was focused on AI and sci-fi. Not my favorite topics. Reminded me of a moment in the excellent Déclin de l’Empire Américain (1986). Ce qui veut dire qu’un mariage réussi n’a rien à voir avec le bonheur personnel de deux individus mariés ensemble. À la limite, la question … Continue reading Making ourselves happy

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Nest in Nuevo South.

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Home means a lot of things to a lot of people – comfort, safety, warmth, a place you can always come back to. But it also means inspiration. A creative spark. The first step on a path leading somewhere new. And that’s where we decided to focus when we got the chance to partner with GOOD magazine.We wanted to find a house that inspired us. And we wanted to help it inspire others. We found what we were looking for in south LA.It’s called the Big House; a 100-year-old craftsman, three stories tall. On the 3rd floor lives a man named Jorge Nuño and his two young sons. The other floors feature offices, a film room, classrooms and dozens of teenagers who wander in and out at all hours to do homework, learn photography, or code their own websites. The Big House is the beating heart of Nuevo South, a community organization Jorge founded to inspire the kids in the south LA neighborhood where he grew up.But it’s also just a house. An old house, with old walls and old paint, and furniture worn f…

How to get people to make things for you

We’re a week away from the deadline for the Smart Oxford Challenge and I was asked if this was a hackathon. That expression and the format it has come to represent gives me the heeby-jeebies so I wanted to share why, and what makes the Challenge different.  This is coming from ten years of organising events … Continue reading How to get people to make things for you

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New safety software for the Nest Thermostat.

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It’s interesting what happens when you start out as a thermostat company, then start making smoke alarms and Wi-Fi cameras. You start thinking beyond energy, beyond comfort – you begin to focus on safety.So for the last few months, we’ve been working on ways the Nest Learning Thermostat can keep your family safe and protect your home. And now every first and second generation Nest Learning Thermostat across the world has automatically received new 4.5 safety software. Here’s what you’ll see:Safety Temperature Alerts
Every Nest Thermostat has a Safety Temperature. You tell it what temperature your house should never reach – like when your pipes could freeze – and Nest will turn on the heat if it’s getting too cold. It works even when you’ve turned the thermostat off. But what if it’s so cold your heating system can’t keep up? What if your AC breaks down in a heat wave? Now Nest can send you an alert on your phone if the temperature gets dangerously low or high so you can take care of t…

6th International Workshop on the Web of Things: WoT 2015

After a successful 5 years anniversary in 2014 it is our pleasure to announce that the International Web of Things workshop (#wot2015) will take place this year again, submissions are now open so hurry up, craft your...

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How we tested our new Nest Protect.

New report: Nobody understands programmable thermostats.

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I read an article yesterday from the Washington Post. It wasn’t shocking. But it is fascinating. It’s the reason the Nest Learning Thermostat exists: Once again it’s been proven that many people have absolutely no idea what to do with their programmable thermostats.And it’s not because people are misinformed or lazy. It’s because programmable thermostats aren’t made for humans. They’re complicated and confusing to program. They’re annoying to use. It’s bad design.In a new study published in the Energy Research & Social Science journal, researchers found that about 40% of programmable thermostats owners didn’t use the programming features. And 33% of the thermostats were in ‘permanent hold’ mode that turns programmable thermostats into manual ones.Here’s my favorite quote:Out of 192 people surveyed, 42 percent of respondents said their thermostats were programmable — rather than manual — but many did not seem to know how to use them. 14 percent of those claiming to have programmabl…

Three Years & Counting

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It was just over three years ago  that I joined Matt McLarty and Ronnie Mitra to form the API Academy. And I've never regretted a minute of it.Layer 7's Brain Child
The idea for the API Academy came from the core leadership of what was then known as Layer 7. Basically, it was the chance to pull together some of the great people involved in APIs for the Web and focus on promoting and supporting API-related technologies and practices. From the very beginning, it was decided that the API Academy would focus on “big picture stuff” – not a particular product or technology segment. And we dove in with both feet.My first talk as part of the Academy was June 2012 on hypermedia and node.js at QCon NYC. Ronnie and I finally met face-to-face later that summer at the Layer 7 office in Vancouver. We both talked at REST Fest 2012 where Layer 7 became a key sponsor of that event. In December of 2012, Ronnie and I were proud to join Mehdi Medjaoui at the very first APIdays in Paris. And we…