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Google Hardware Hacking Open Source Technology Build

Building an Open Source Nest 195

An anonymous reader writes "Google's recent acquisition of Nest, the maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors, has sparked concerns of future plans for the devices, and how Google's omnipresent thirst for information will affect them. Thus, a team of engineers at Spark sat down and roughed out a prototype for an open source version of Nest. It looks surprisingly good for such a short development cycle, and they've posted their code on Github. The article has a number of short videos illustrating the technology they used, and how they used it. Quoting: 'All in, we spent about $70 on components to put this together (including $39 for the Spark Core); the wood and acrylic were free. We started working at 10am and finished at 3am, with 3.5 engineers involved (one went to bed early), and the only work we did in advance was order the electronic components. We're not saying that you can build a $3.2 billion company in a day. But we are saying that you can build a $3.2 billion company, and it's easier now than it's ever been before.'"
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Building an Open Source Nest

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  • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by _anomaly_ ( 127254 ) <> on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:19PM (#45988985) Homepage [] ...and their blog post about being acquired by google: []
  • Re:The hard part (Score:4, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:48PM (#45989415)

    The hard part isn't building a smart thermostat. The hard part is building relationships will all those energy providers.

    True. The real growth is not in home owners, most of whom will never replace a thermostat, let alone spend $250 for one or more replacements. The market is the installers and manufacturers to include it with a unit or as an add on sale. My AC guy gives away a $200 (retail) thermostat if you buy a multi-year service plan so it's not a stretch to see them offer a Nest unit.

  • Cold zones (Score:5, Informative)

    by unixcorn ( 120825 ) on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:50PM (#45989433)

    I just bought a new thermostat. I really wanted a Nest because of it's cool factor however, I ended up buying a Honeywell. First, the Nest isn't as advanced; for example, the Honeywell has some features that allow me to run the fan periodically throughout the cycles. It also allows me to add an additional "slave" thermostat and average the temperature between my upper and lower levels. While the Nest allows you to view multiple thermostats in a single interface each stat required separate HVAC systems. The Honeywell also comes with a remote control that sense the temperature where you are sitting and will adjust the set point to make you comfortable. The bottom line is that sometimes new and cool isn't as good as tried and true when you actually do some research.

  • by kwalker ( 1383 ) on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:54PM (#45989495) Journal

    Or, you know, use hand tools...

    They're not saying they could build Nest for $70 in parts, they're saying they built a nest-clone device in less than 24 hours for about $70 in parts. Their time was theirs to spend, and they're not "marketing" this.

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