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Technology Builders Ditch Nest After Google Ties Devices to Digital Assistant

15:00  17 october  2019
15:00  17 october  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Builders Ditch Nest After Google Ties Devices to Digital Assistant . The move may help the internet giant weave its Google Assistant deeper into people’s lives. But for builders it’s just a pain because Nest devices no longer work so well with the other gadgets they install in homes, such as

Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam and Nest Cam IQ, Nest Hello, Nest Secure and Nest x Yale Lock work seamlessly with Google Assistant . Also, Nest Cam IQ Indoor now has Google Assistant built in, so you can ask questions and control your devices directly from Nest Cam IQ camera's (US only).

(Bloomberg) -- Several residential builders have stopped buying and installing Google’s Nest devices after the internet giant overhauled how Nest technology works with other gadgets.

The Alphabet Inc. unit bought Nest in 2014 for $3.2 billion to enter the so-called smart-home market. Nest has become one of the largest makers of internet-connected thermostats, smoke alarms and locks.

The devices were popular with builders who saw a Nest gadget as a way to increase the value of properties. But earlier this year, that began to change as Google exerted more control over Nest and started changing the underlying technology.

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The Google Assistant is a voice-controlled personal assistant . With it, you can tell your Nest products to do things and ask questions about their status. Instead, you’ll be speaking to one of the devices listed in step 1 below, and the Google Assistant will pass the information to and from your Nest

You can create your own commands for your Google Assistant using IFTTT. See services and devices you can control. Welcome to your new home for help, the Google Nest Help Center.

As a more independent business, Nest developed software that helped its gadgets communicate with a wide range of products from other manufacturers, through accounts set up directly by users.

As of the end of August this year, however, consumers need a Google account -- and access to the company’s voice-based Google Assistant service -- to integrate new Nest products with other devices in their homes.

The move may help the internet giant weave its Google Assistant deeper into people’s lives. But for builders it’s just a pain because Nest devices no longer work so well with the other gadgets they install in homes, such as audio and entertainment systems, and alarms and other security gear. It’s also a less enticing user proposition with all the privacy permissions that Google Assistant requires.

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Discover connected home devices from Nest – thermostats, indoor and outdoor security cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, security system, video doorbell and more. Nest and Google Home have joined together as Google Nest .

Google is trading Nest ’s platform for Google Assistant , and the implications could be huge for the smart home ecosystem. But if you’ve ever tried to set up complex automations across a wide range of devices using the Google Assistant app, you’ll know how easy it is to reach the limits of what you

That’s spurred some builders -- who collectively purchase tens of thousands of Nest devices each year -- to avoid Nest products.

“We’ve stopped,” said Mark Zikra, vice president of technology at CA Ventures, which builds and operates apartments, senior homes and other property. “In an apartment complex we’re talking about 200, 300 devices that would be installed in one swoop and then all of a sudden everyone moves in. We don’t have the luxury of being able to say ‘hey are you a Google person or are you a Honeywell person?’”

Similar sentiments were shared by others in the construction industry, including two large systems-integration firms that work with hundreds of builders across the U.S.

For Sean Weiner, chief technology officer of Bravas Group, the main sticking point is Google’s decision to tie its digital assistant to Nest products going forward. Bravas installs smart-home devices and audio systems in about 3,500 high-end homes a year, and the ability to connect to as many different gadgets as possible is the most important feature. Digital assistants can’t handle these larger, more complex systems, according to Weiner.

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Once you have both your Nest thermostat and Google Home device installed, use the following process to connect the two devices . Open Google Assistant . In the upper-right corner of the screen, tap your profile picture to open the main menu, then select Settings.

Google 's assistant already can be used to control Nest 's cameras and internet-connected thermostat through its internet-connected speaker, Home, and This will be the first time that people will be able to interact with the digital concierge through a security camera. The assistant is only supposed to be

“If we put that control in the hands of Google, we’ve lost that control,” he said.

This could dent Nest sales at a time when Google is trying to generate more revenue from consumer hardware. Commercial installers and builders are an important source of smart-home sales and Nest had developed a program to train professionals how to hook up its gadgets.

Google has said it is being more selective with outside partners to increase security and privacy. At an event this week in New York City, the company highlighted how its home devices and smartphones work together to provide functionality that consumers can’t get unless they go all-in with Google technology. Still, the company is working to increase the number of other devices Nest products work with.

That’s little comfort for builders in the midst of existing projects, such as David Berman who has been installing electronics in homes since the 1960s. Now, his company sets up networks of smart-home devices in thousands of homes a year. When Google said Nest’s integration technology was changing earlier this year, he stopped using the devices.

Google streamlines music transfers between Home and Nest devices

  Google streamlines music transfers between Home and Nest devices Moving music between different Google Home and Nest devices has been a convoluted process for a while now, but Google is at long last making it easier to do just that. The company is introducing a new feature called stream transfer that allows you to ask Assistant to move music and podcasts between different Chromecast, Google Home and Nest devices. One example the company gives is, "Hey Google, move the music to the living room speaker." TheThe feature is also accessible through the Google Home app, allowing you to send audio to a variety of different devices through the app's casting interface.

Google Home uses information you permit it to access to provide better, more helpful answers through the Google Assistant . Third party services may share information with Google Home pursuant to their own privacy policies when you choose to use those services via Google Home.

Broadcast from Google Home device to Google Home device . What you need. You can reply to a broadcast after you hear it. Your reply will only be sent to the original broadcasting device . Other Google Home devices and mobile devices will not get your reply.

“We were more or less forced into the switch,” he said. “When people buy a connected device, they expect it to connect. That’s not something that happens with Nest anymore.”

Google isn’t alone in trying to tie its devices to a digital assistant. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. have pursued similar goals, and the smart-home market increasingly revolves around the tech giants, with manufacturers of light bulbs, thermostats, smoke alarms and more struggling to make their wares compatible with all three.

Even though Nest has been owned by Google for five years, it hadn’t been fully pulled into the internet giant’s orbit until now.

When Google announced the acquisition in 2014, Nest said it would only share user data with its own products and services, not Google’s. In a blog post, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers said “Nest data will stay with Nest” and that the company wasn’t changing its Terms of Service.

It didn’t take long for that to change. And Rogers’s blog post is no longer available on Nest’s website. Less than six months after the deal, Nest said Google would connect some of its apps, letting Google know whether Nest users were at home or not. The integration allowed those people to set the temperature of their homes with voice commands and helped Google’s digital assistant set the temperature automatically when it detected the people were returning home.

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Since this video, there have been numerous updates. These instructions may be obsolete. In the meantime, take a look at our Nest Hello Mount Comparison

After choosing your recipe, say "Prepare the ingredients” and your Assistant will start reading ingredients. Say “Hey Google , next ingredients” to hear more ingredients. Tip: If you've already gathered and prepared your ingredients, say "Skip to the instructions.”

Initially, smart-home products connected to “home hubs” that acted as a gateway linking many devices -- even if they used different communication standards and protocols. “That idea has mostly died” as tech giants take over that central role with their voice assistants and smart speakers, said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research.

“This is a symptom of a larger challenge in the smart-home arena,” he added.

Interoperability doesn’t need to be compromised for security and privacy, said Aaron Emigh, chief executive officer of Brilliant Home Technology Inc., which makes a centralized hub that hosts Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Amazon put Brilliant through many tests, ranging from audio quality to the ability to stop hacks. The same hasn’t happened with Google, he said. Google devices, such as its Home smart speakers, can be used to control Brilliant’s hub with your voice, but the integration is incomplete compared with Alexa, Emigh added.

“What they’re doing is creating a lot of mistrust around Google and that’s then causing people to de-select Google and Nest as technology platforms,” Emigh said. “That’s happening in droves.”

--With assistance from Mark Bergen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at [email protected], Alistair Barr, Vlad Savov

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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