Want A Gadget-Controlled House Like Iron Man?

Kate Patrick Contributor
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We all agree on how cool Tony Stark, aka Iron Man’s house is, with its talking computers and advanced gadgetry. Some of us even wish such technology existed — except now it seems that wish might come true.

Google’s billion dollar thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs will radically change homes, according to a Nest Labs announcement Tuesday.

The Nest thermostat and smoke alarm are “learning” devices, aligning themselves to your schedule to save energy. For example, the Nest thermostat will automatically cool or heat your home depending on the time of day or time of year.

“Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it,” says the Nest website. “The Nest Learning Thermostat learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and the Nest Thermostat can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%.”

According to Business Insider, several companies are already on board with Nest, including Whirlpool, Jawbone, Logitech, Mercedes-Benz, Chamberlain, LIFX and IFTTT.

Business Insider describes some of the benefits available with a partnership between Whirlpool and Nest: “If you’re out for the day, your Nest thermostat can have your Whirlpool washer and dryer keep clothes fresh and wrinkle-free when the cycle ends. The dryer can also switch into a longer, more energy efficient cycle when you’re away.”

The Nest smoke alarm can help too, Business Insider says, because “if Nest Protect detects elevated smoke or carbon monoxide levels, LIFX light bulbs can flash red to let you know there might be danger and help signal those who are hearing impaired.”

And all of this can be controlled by the Nest app installed on your smartphone.

Nest, co-founded in 2010 by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, fosters some concern about privacy and security. After all, the Nest devices learn to use your information to make adjustments to the appliances in your home.

Before you connect home appliances to Nest devices, the developers of the home appliance require specific information from the user to set up the connection. Nest’s terms require developers to explain the reasons for each request, so a user can say “yes” or “no” to the connection. Developers of home products are also prohibited from accessing “identifiable” information about users.

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