If you haven’t heard, Google, the owner of Nest products, has ended its support for their “Works with Nest” program. Works With Nest
(WWN) is a program that allows third-party manufacturers and developers, many in our industry, to gain access to Nest products for control and data collection. As of August 31, 2019, WWN will stop accepting new connections.
Google is recommending all WWN users migrate their products to Google Assistant. This is where complications for the CEDIA community begin. Migrating your product to Google Assistant breaks its ability to communicate with anything that was using the WWN program — the control system, the voice assistant (except for those supporting Google voice) or any third-party applications will all cease to work. If that wasn’t enough, once you migrate, you cannot return to WWN and any new products will need to be on the Google Assistant platform.
No New Features
WWN will continue to operate and support the devices currently on its network, however, it will not add any new features to the platform. If you stay with WWN, you will be sticking with the current features indefinitely. If you are using Google Assistant for your home control, you won’t be able to access the WWN devices until they are migrated.
Google has stated that it is working directly with Amazon to migrate the Nest skill for thermostat control and camera access. Additionally, Google says it is “working with other partners to offer connected experiences that deliver more custom integrations,” though they have not released a timeframe or a list of partners.
Security's the Issue
This is not a complete surprise with reports of Nest cameras being hacked and homeowners talking to strangers halfway around the world. Google is putting serious effort and energy into developing a completely secure and private system.
Unfortunately, the custom home integration market that specializes in working with many manufacturers to bring a unified system to its customers will suffer. There is a fear spreading that more manufacturers will take notice and consider doing the same, forcing integrators and consumers to only use their products to create a more secure system. With enterprise level network security protocols finding their way into the residential market, let’s hope they can find a way to give us a key to the door and allow us to continue to work with them.
Reference: Works With Security
NOTE: This Emerging Trends piece is brought to you by CEDIA’s Technology Advisory Council and Technology Application & Innovation department.