AirBnB partners with Nest to equip some homes with thermostats

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 4 Thu Sep 4, 2014 9:00am EDT

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Home rental service AirBnB will offer free smart thermostats from Google Inc-owned Nest to 500 of its hosts in the United States, the first step in a partnership that could lead to broader cooperation between the two technology companies.

AirBnB said it is offering the Nest thermostats as part of its effort to help users of its service conserve energy. Nest's thermostats can detect when a person is at home or away, and automatically set heating and cooling temperatures accordingly.

Nest and AirBnB representatives would not comment on financial details of the partnership.

AirBnB Head of Business Development Lex Bayer described the plan to offer the thermostats as a "first step" in a partnership between the two companies. "As part of this initial phase we will be evaluating the response of our community to help inform us on how best to evolve the program," Bayer told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Nest, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion in January, also sells a smoke and carbon monoxide detector as well as a line of home security video cameras that are sold under the Dropcam brand. AirBnB has more than 800,000 rental listings in 190 countries.

Nest said separately on Thursday that it was providing an automatic software update to its Internet-connected Nest Protect smoke detector that add several new features, including the ability to differentiate between smoke and steam as well as detailed information on carbon monoxide levels after an alarm. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Diane Craft)

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