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Nest Debuts “Home/Away Assist” to see if Your Home

March 10, 2016 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Nest has a few pretty good products for the smart home. They have a smart thermostat, smoke detector and a security camera in the Nest Cam. All three products are great looking products from the company owned by Alphabet, but there’s one big issue. They don’t really talk to each other. They also don’t really know if you’re home or not. However with this new feature from Nest, it’s about to get a whole lot better at talking with each other as well as determining whether you are at home or not. It’s called “Home/Away Assist” and just as you’d expect, from the name, it uses GPS to determine whether you are at home or not.

Another feature being added is “Family” account options. So while we now have GPS to figure out if you’re home or not, if you have other family members on your account or in the group, it will also determine whether they are at home as well. A great feature, especially for those that don’t actually live alone. The best part here is that you won’t need to share your username/password to set up a family account. Whoever is the account owner, is able to manage access for other people at any time. Something that’s pretty handy when you’re out of town or having guests over.

Before this update, Nest was using proprietary algorithms and sensor data to determine if you were home. So that it would trigger water heating, and such accordingly. It wasn’t the best way of dealing with things, but it worked, some of the time. Now these features will be able to operate much more precisely. Seeing as it uses the GPS on your smartphone to determine your location and it does work on both Android and iOS.

The update to the Nest app is available in the Play Store now and is beginning its staged roll out. Those of you that are using Nest, especially multiple Nest products, should see a big improvement with this update. The update should be rolled out to everyone over the next week or two.