It’s been possible to dictate Nest products for some time now, though you’d need to be fairly savvy at linking multiple home automation systems and setting up recipes within IF (nÃ© IFTTT). Today, Nest is making life much easier by introducing Family Accounts and a native Home/Away Assist function.
In a nutshell, the Nest app update now allows you to select up to 10 people as family, and if any one of them are home, your Nest Thermostat, Smoke + CO Alarm, and Camera will operate accordingly. Once the entire crew heads out, the system will automatically do what’s necessary to save energy. Notably, Nest‘s engineering team is using more than a typical geofencing system to determine who is in and who is out — it’ll tap “learning algorithms and activity sensors built into Nest products” in a bid to be more accurate.
Since you’re wondering (and because Nest is owned by Google), the company has proactively announced that the Home/Away Assist function doesn’t track where you go; rather, it only takes note of whether you’re at home or away from it.
Of course, as brilliant as all of this sounds, the state of home automation is still a disaster. Nest only makes three products, and forcing your non-Nest leak, door, window, humidity, and motion sensors to operate on the same cadence remains a headache. Unless you’re up for the challenge of getting disparate systems to speak a common language across varying protocols, you may still be better off doing things the old fashioned way.