Google's Nest Labs Unveils Web Store, New Developer Tools

  • Company expands technology to get more gadgets connected
  • Online marketplace brings together different products

Google Inc.’s Nest Labs is opening up a key technology to other manufacturers of home-automation gadgets, seeking to keep its digital thermostats and other products at the center of the connected home.

Nest is expanding Weave, its software for devices to communicate with one another, to developers -- instead of limiting the technology to its own products. By doing so, more products can work together to control lights, heating, cooling, security and other things in homes. General Electric Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. will be partners in the effort, Nest said in a blog post Thursday. Nest Weave and its related services will be available in 2016.

The business, which Google bought last year, is pouring resources into its product lineup to convince consumers that they need to modernize their homes with connected, intelligent devices as it competes with rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

"It’s going to take time for the connected home to really come together," said Greg Hu, senior manager, Nest platform. "But these are the really important, kind of foundational elements."

Nest is also setting up an online store with a list of products that work with Nest devices, including smoke alarms and security cameras. The company also announced new features for its security cameras, so that developers can design new tools and services -- such as having the camera send photos of pets when they’re eating or whenever there’s a security alert at the front door.

"We wanted to let these products and technologies that we’re providing in the home enable other products from other manufacturers to really take flight," Hu said.

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