I’m a sucker for shiny new tech objects. There, I said it.
But I’ve resisted the need and the lure of most “internet of things” things like thermostats,cameras, doorbells and more. Until now, that is.
A few weeks ago I received a bundle of Nest devices including the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Cam, and the Nest Smoke + CO Alarm from Verizon Wireless as I’m a part of the #VZWBUZZ team. I was immediately impressed with the devices and in just a few minutes I had all three of them configured and installed in their place in my home.
I will take a few moments to discuss all three devices and my experiences with them and how they might be right for your lifestyle.
I’ve had a programmable thermostat in my home for several years now. Living in North Dakota the heater is running all winner as the temperatures plunge to below 0°, and the AC runs all summer as we climb to 90°+. So being able to control when each of these items should run and for how long can be a huge money saver. In fact, I saw a $30 decrease in both heating and cooling seasons by installing the programmable thermostat.
So when I opened the Nest Learning Thermostat box and read the documentation on how it can be either told when to run at certain temperatures, or LEARN when you’re home and adjust the internal climate as necessary, I was intrigued.
Installing the device into the wall was easy with included instructions, so don’t be turned off by that. It came with a large cover plate that covered any blemishes left on the wall by previous thermostats and the device itself simply snaps in place.
Connecting to the thermostat from the downloadable Android/iOS app is as simple as snapping a photo of a QR code with your camera and entering a few numbers. From here you connect to your wireless network, configure a few other items, and snap the thermostat in place to control your heater or AC unit.
It’s really that easy. And now the device starts learning when you go to sleep, when you wake up, when you leave and come home from work, and many other features that help keep your home, and you, as comfortable as possible.
For more information on the Nest Learning Thermostat, check out this page at Verizon.com.
Since I work at home, the Nest Cam is probably the product I was least excited about. However, now that I installed it and have it sitting on my wi-fi network, I can honestly say it’s nice to have.
As with the Thermostat, programming and configuring was done on the app using the QR code and camera. It resides on a coffee table pointed at the main window, entrance door from outside, and other entrance area from the kitchen.
I was able to set up zones on the app that can either notify, or not notify me of sound or motion inside of those zones. This was a big deal since my dogs are constantly moving about the house.
The best part of the camera is that I can tell it to turn off when someone with the app installed is home. This keeps me from getting tons of notifications of motion when my wife is home, and her from getting them when I’m at home working.
When you’re away from home you are notified by either email or on the app, your choice, as to any sound or motion that triggers the camera. You are then able to watch on the app or browser to see AND hear what’s happening inside your home. And check this out, there’s even a speaker in the camera so if you see something correctable by your voice like a pet misbehaving you can say something that’s heard in your home and hear the response.
All in all, the setup and configuration of the Nest Cam took about ten minutes. Allow more time if you’re going to mount on the wall and have to get power to it.
Visit Verizon.com for more information on the Nest Cam.
Nest Fire + CO Alarm
Check out the Verizon.com page for more information on the Nest Cam
My smoke detectors in the house are hardwired with battery backup. However, they are close to 15 years old and were in desperate need of replacement.
So when I was able to test this device I was excited. Configuration and setup was again, five minutes with the app, the QR code and a bit of info like wi-fi password. Installing the base and hanging it took maybe ten minutes, so easily within 30 minutes if you read and follow instructions (I’ve never been good at that…). The alarm tested during setup and it is LOUD, so make sure you let everyone know you’re testing. The app displays your alarm(s) and provides a status.
Because of the location status, I am going to be purchasing two more alarms for the other floors of my home and replacing them as well. Knowing via the app where smoke or CO gas has been detected is great information for putting that fire out or determining an exit of the building.
And some of you may be interested in a feature that allows a user to stop a fire alarm for up to 15 minutes in the event that the home fills with smoke from a burned cooking experience, electronic project, or other reason.
Visit Verizon.com for more information on the Nest Smoke + CO Alarm.
These Nest devices are a wonderful way to start the home security and automation process. They leverage the power of Google and tap into our reliance on mobile technology, which makes the process easier to manage and more powerful.
If you would like to cut your home’s heating and cooling costs, see your home when you’re gone, or know if your home is experiencing an emergency regardless of where you are, the Nest products are an easy way to get started. And I can’t wait to see what they think of next!
And, if you want to see how these devices work together, check out this wonderful post on the Nest website!
AND, if you’re really creative and want to get more out of your Nest Bundle devices, connect them to other “internet of things” devices and other mobile apps using hundreds of IFTTT (If Then Then That) recipes. Find out more about these by clicking on the links below.
Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us!