Google confirmed that it will make its Nest Smart Home products more secure while increasing their functionality thanks to some new features. As the search giant notes, privacy has become all the more important now as most consumers use devices from multiple companies.
Google intends to develop a more open platform without compromising on security and safety of its users. In a blog post, the company highlighted how it will create a well-guarded ecosystem that provides added flexibility to customers.
At the heart of the new solutions is Works with Assistant, a replacement for the Works with Nest program. The Mountain View-based company announced three new additions to Works with Assistant that allow for greater integration and improved data privacy.
Nest new features include tighter integration with maximum security
First up is the Device Access program, which will let users have a greater say over the way their Nest devices are controlled by more than 3,500 partners. It will be up to users if they want to opt into the program and they will be able to choose which partners can access which devices. In fact, users will also be able to see what the app makers can see and hear on their end. Adding to this, Device Access partners will have to go through a security assessment every year.
From the point of view of usability, this program gives users more choices to control their smart homes.
After that, we have Home Routines, which will help users get more done with their connected devices. First of all, it will be possible to make Nest devices trigger routines intelligently. So, for instance, when no one is home, the thermostat and lights will be turned off automatically.
Additionally, users can also make their own Routines, if the existing ones don't satisfy their requirements. And lastly, partners will be able to develop custom routines, giving users more options.
For tech enthusiasts, there is an option to control Nest devices directly for integrations and automation, thanks to Device Access for Individuals sandbox. This will allow them to get the most out of their smart home devices.
For developers and Nest customers, the Device Access API is now available. Google also says that many of its partners are working on new integrations that are coming soon. Home Routines, on the other hand, won't arrive until next year.
New features helping to do smart home the right way
With the new solutions, Google has seemingly managed to improve the usability of smart products whilst making sure that security isn't compromised. It will entirely be up to Nest owners which actions they want to opt into, with the assurance that private information will not be shared with partners.
In recent times, fear has been mounting that tech companies listen in on private conversations. Earlier this year, Google admitted how it should have revealed its Nest Secure home security system has an on-device microphone. Evidently, the company was keen today to reassure consumers that it takes privacy serious. Likely in a bid to help ensure sales of the newly announced Nest Mini are not impacted.