Your Next Competitor: Nest

nest_api-0913The Nest thermostat is one of the most innovative, yet simplest, HVAC controllers ever created. It has made controlling your air conditioner cool AND has been proven, over and over, to save homeowners using it money in energy costs by using less power and auto-scheduling when the heat and air turn on and off based on when you are at home or away.

And, it’s about to get even cooler as Next announced at last week’s CEDIA Expo that it will open up its API to anyone and everyone to develop third party “plug-ins” to do everything from control your home theater to your whole house AV system.

Yes, that’s right. In his CEDIA Expo keynote, Nest CEO Tony Fadell announced that the company will allow developers and manufacturers to connect to their own devices via the Nest controller — and vice-versa — to allow for the Nest to be the window to a customers AV-laden home or to allow for other controllers to take control of Nest, too.

But, let’s be real here — Nest is going after the home controller market — not the other way around. So, if you’re AMX, Savant or Crestron, this isn’t good news. But, if you’re an CI, this isn’t good news for you, either.

Sure, Nest has a dealer-authorization program so not any “trunk-slammer” can become an integrator for the HVAC controller, but, of the 1,500 or so authorized installers, I’m told that well over 1,300 of them are HVAC contractors or electricians.

So, here’s the truth.

Truth is, Nest will eventually be vying for whole-home control.
Truth is, Nest will introduce more interfaces that can control more than just the HVAC system (and, remember, its GUI was designed by the guy who developed the iPod GUI).
Truth is, Nest will authorize more and more high-voltage electricians to integrate the low-voltage controller.
Truth is, this stuff will be sold via the Internet, Best Buy and Lowe’s.
Truth is, you’re looking at a consumer-based product that, no matter how cool it is, is taking business away from the CI community.
Truth is, Nest is genius!