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Google quits “Works with Nest”: the problem with Cloud-based smart homes

arch engine giant Google’s Nest product changes are affecting other “smart” home products and systems that integrate it. Nest was acquired by Google in 2014 for more than $3 billion. This now, unfortunately, compromises many smart home installations as Google is ending the “Works with Nest” program and replacing it with “Works with Google Assistant”.

So what does this mean for integrators of Nest? They may not be able to adapt or participate in the new Works with Google Assistant program, and therefore, will no longer provide systems to their full capabilities. Thousands of products and customer installations will be affected. Current reports can be found on The Verge, Cnet, and Extreme Tech.

Problems with the Cloud

Dependence on the manufacturer’s server

One of the top weaknesses of Cloud-based smart home systems. If a manufacturer decides to discontinue a service, thousands of functioning products and integrations become simply unusable one day to the next. The only way to save them? Costly updates – both time and money. But let’s not forget, the potential that installations will become useless, an even more significant loss because what was the point of integrating such “smart” products then? The answer is clear once we get our heads out of the Cloud.

Invading your privacy

The recent privacy attack from Amazon Alexa devices has been all over the media. Thousands of customers’ voice commands were not only listened by, but also recorded and evaluated by Amazon employees. Lesser known, microphones were also used in Nest devices. According to Google, this was unintentional. Statements claim that Nest users were never spied on, but the possibility is always there for open ears. Time to drop the mic…

Offline availability

Cloud-based products rely on internet connection. Just think about the times you may have ever lost a connection. Now think about how even basic functions in your home would be affected. Unfortunately, our minds are used to thinking that our lives depend on internet connection. We should actually be reversing this trend for true smart homes.

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