| SAN FRANCISCO, June 23
SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 Nest, the Google
Inc-owned maker of smart thermostats and other home
automation products, will allow other companies to create apps
that communicate with its devices.
The program marks the first time Nest has allowed
third-party companies to access its gadgets, potentially opening
the door to the rich selection of apps and services that have
made smartphones popular.
More than 5,000 developers have already expressed interest
in developing apps for Nest products, according to the company.
Nest said that it was working with companies including
washer-dryer maker Whirlpool Corp and automatic garage
door opener company Chamberlain. Closing a garage door for
instance, can alert the Nest Thermostat that the user is away
from home and to turn off the heat. LED light bulbs from Lifx
can be set to flash red if a Nest smoke detector senses smoke in
Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in January,
underscoring the Web search company's efforts to extend its
reach into a broad field of Internet-connected devices.
Nest on Friday announced plans to acquire Dropcam, a
video-monitoring home security product.
Nest suffered a public relations black eye in April when it
halted sales of its smoke alarms because of a defect that could
cause users to turn the alarm off unintentionally. Nest resumed
selling the device earlier this month, though it has deactivated
the problematic "Wave" feature - an option that allowed users to
stop false alarms with the wave of a hand.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)