I have Nest thermostats and they’re great. I also have Z-Wave home automation. I’ve even done a DIY home security tutorial based on Z-Wave and the Tasker app on Android phones. But that tutorial had some issues (see 0:25 in the video below… those kinds of issues).
Anyway, now Nest announced some features that should help solve the problem of being able to accurately automate things based on whether people are home or away.
The Nest by itself already has the ability to sense whether people are home or away just based on motion sensing, but it’s not completely accurate. These new features will help to make the home & away sensing as accurate as possible.
So Nest takes a more thoughtful approach, using more information to get it right. Home/Away Assist uses learning algorithms and activity sensors built into Nest products – the same things the Nest Learning Thermostat has been using for four years to help save energy. And Home/Away Assist also uses your phone’s location to do an even better job of telling if anyone’s home.
Family Accounts provides a critical piece of the puzzle. When family members opt in, it lets Home/Away Assist use data from their phones – Android or iOS. So Home/Away Assist will switch to Away only if everyone is out. And it won’t turn down the heat if someone is in a room not visible to any activity sensors.
Since my Vera already has the Nest plugin installed and connected, I can actually use the Nest’s home/away status as a trigger for scenes on my Vera, giving me the ability to automate lots of stuff in my house when I leave or come home.
So what do you think? Leave a comment below.