Nest tweaks its energy reports to include Nest Protect data

Nest users who look forward to their monthly emails are in for a change. Starting today they will get Home Reports instead of Energy Reports, and if they have a Nest Protect, they’ll see safety and usage data from the Protect smoke detector or smoke detectors in their home.

The new information will include details on the status of the Nest Protect in the home. That data will include battery levels, connectivity and sensor status, fire and safety tips that will join the energy savings tips that thermostat users will be familiar with, plus a recap of the entire month’s energy usage history. Currently Nest users can get that history on their apps going back 10 days, but now they can click-through on the email to see the full month’s worth of data.

That will actually be nice if you can export it, because then you might be able to use that data in more places outside the Nest universe. I can think of a several places I’d like to use my HVAC usage data, especially since I can download my utility usage from my power company each evening. So my next question: when will Nest start adding Dropcam data to these reports, and what might that look like?

Nest to replace old Dropcams for free before they go dark April 15

One downside of having products that require cloud services in order to work is that the physical objects can suddenly become obsolete.

Over the weekend, Dropcam announced a “legacy camera replacement program,” which means that older Dropcams will stop connecting to the Dropcam service on April 15, rendering them mostly useless, which is a bummer for those who bought them. However, Dropcam is offering a free Dropcam HD — currently retailing for $120 — to anyone who has a Dropcam that’s going dark.

In a statement provided to Droid-Life, Dropcam said that eligible users will be contacted directly and offered the replacement.

The two affected products are the original Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo, both of which came out between 2009 and 2011. Both were launched way before Dropcam was purchased by Nest (which, in turn, is owned by Google.)

However, hardware has never been Dropcam’s focus. The company started out producing software for hardware from other companies, and has always focused more on its cloud subscription service and making raw footage useful. Dropcam generates income comes from a cloud-archiving and video-management service which starts at $9.95 per month. It’s also been working on a machine vision feature called activity recognition, which uses machine learning to recognize what activities the Dropcam is recording. Duffy told Gigaom in 2013 that “Dropcam at its core is a cloud services company that happens to make hardware.”

Dropcam hasn’t explained why it was sunsetting its older products, only saying that “some features won’t work with our older Dropcam models. As we improve Dropcam, we’ll no longer be able to give Original Dropcam and Dropcam Echo owners an experience that meets our standards. So we decided to stop supporting these products and offer owners a free replacement Dropcam HD camera.”

Even for early adopters, Dropcam declaring end-of-life on its early products isn’t the biggest problem considering the free camera upgrade. That’s one benefit to a startup being purchased by a deep-pocketed giant like Google.

This article was updated at 5pm ET to clarify that Dropcam is replacing old models with the Dropcam HD model. 

Nest adds support for Dropcam and older home automation platforms

dropnestThe day that the Nest thermostat works with all of your old-school Crestron and Control4 gear has finally arrived. At the CEDIA trade show in Denver on Tuesday, the posh thermostat provider said that it has integrated with Dropcam, which Google acquired this year, as well as with Universal Remote (URC), RTI, Crestron and Control4. As one would expect, the Dropcam integration uses the thermostat’s Away setting to trigger the camera to go into motion-sensing mode, while the integration with the other firms lets you control your Nest from their remotes. I’m still waiting for the Google integrations myself.