As you can probably tell from how much we talk about it here at HomeTechTell, I’m kind of in love with The Nest Learning Thermostat. The idea of it, at least. I have to admit, I don’t have one, and recent developments have me waffling on whether or not to pull the trigger on the one sitting in my Amazon Shopping Cart.
A few months back, a company called HouseLogix developed a driver that allowed Control4 home automation systems to communicate with and control The Nest. Groovy, huh?
Not so groovy from the Nest point of view, apparently. Representatives from the company quickly sent HouseLogix a cease and desist letter. Then, this month, Nest introduced a firmware “upgrade” disabling the driver that many Control4 customers had already paid for, leaving them in the… umm… heat. Not cool.
There’s an interesting back and forth in the comments section Amazon about the situation that has since been memory holed, in which a representative from Nest named K. Brinks said, “I work at Nest and would like to offer some insight on this topic. Our first priority is to make sure your Nest works the way it’s supposed to. We simply can’t vouch for the unintended consequences that using third-party software could have on our services or your Nest.” Why that comment was deleted by the author isn’t quite clear.
HouseLogix’s page does give a glimmer of hope for a resolution: “We discussed the possibility of adding control system integration in the future and they are looking at a longer term solution.”
But that’s probably little solace to those Control4 customers who came home one day to find their systems rendered inoperative with no notice.
Does this kill my desire for a Nest for good? No, I’ll probably still end up getting one. But I have to admit, as a result my cursor keeps hovering over the “Proceed to checkout” button and hesitantly moving away.
Either way, I’ve reached out to the folks at Nest for a comment, and will update if they reply. Stay tuned…
[Update, 7/20/12] A representative from Nest has responded to my request for comment on this matter with, unfortunately, the exact same statement that appeared on Amazon, disappeared, and has since been reposted by the manufacturer in the comments section: “Our first priority is to make sure Nest works the way it’s supposed to. We simply can’t vouch for the unintended consequences that using third-party software could have on our services or your Nest.”
I followed up with additional questions about Nest’s general attitude toward advanced home automation, and the company’s openness to working with home automation companies to develop official drivers for its Learning Thermostat in the future, but haven’t gotten a response after a day’s wait, so I’m going to call this one closed for now unless representatives from Nest (or Control4) want to comment further on the matter.
In the meantime, I’ve completely canceled my pending order for a Nest of my own. The lack of current support for advanced home automation systems, I can forgive. The caution when dealing with third parties is understandable. The apparent overarching antagonism toward home automation integration has scared me off, though.