The smart energy industry has demonstrated at a recent major trade show how interoperability between appliances and applications will create an automated smart home.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google's Nest showcased its partnership program, launched six months ago, that allows owners of smart thermostats to tap into a variety of services.
Under the Works with Nest connections program, consumers can benefit from services such as a car charging station that alerts you when energy prices are high; smart appliances that when know you’re home, and a phone services that knows when you've gone out so it can forward calls.
One such partner is August Smart Lock, which can set your Nest Thermostat to Home when you unlock your door and immediately start warming or cooling the house. Lock your door on the way out and it will set your Nest Thermostat to Away to help you save energy.
And another is Withings, a sleep system that sets your Nest Thermostat to a comfortable nighttime temperature.
Devices 'work in concert'
Whirlpool showcased dryers that can run at a slower, energy-saving cycle if you aren't home and therefore aren't in a rush.
The dryer integrates with Nest smart thermostat, which has sensors to figure out that no one's home and then lowers the heat automatically.
"True consumer value will come when devices work in concert with one another and in many cases across manufacturers," adds Brett Dibkey, a Whirlpool Corp. vice president. "The home adapts to the way consumers live rather than the other way around."
The four-day show showcased the potential building blocks of the automated home, including energy and security systems, a market which the Consumer Electronics Association projects sales will total US$574 million this year, up nearly a quarter on 2014.