Nest Labs plans developer program for its smart thermostat

Company plans to launch an API next year that will allow third parties to create apps and services that work with the Nest Learning Thermostat.

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Steven Musil
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Nest Labs' smart thermostat. Nest Labs

With an eye toward pairing its smart thermostat with other appliances, Nest Labs is launching a partner developer program to encourage creation of apps and services that work with its device.

The company announced Wednesday it will launch an application programming interface (API) next year that will allow third-party companies and app developers to blend their creations with its Nest thermostat. As its name suggests, the device learns and remembers preferred temperatures to automatically keep one's abode cool or warm.

"Since we launched in 2011, there's been steady demand from the developer community for Nest to create an API," Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering, said in a statement. "While we've always wanted to create a Nest Developer Program, our first priority was to build a great product, customer experience and team. We've defined what the Nest experience should be. And now we're getting ready to open our doors."

Along with the developer program, Nest announced Wednesday that home automation company Control4 will be its first partner in the program. The Salt Lake City-based company manufactures and markets home theater controllers.

Rogers, along with fellow former Apple employee Tony Fadell, unveiled the $249 Nest thermostat nearly two years ago. As the duo were the brains behind Apple's original iPod, it was appropriate that the device featured an iPod-like control wheel. Apparently impressed with how much of the iPod's sensibilities were incorporated into the thermostat, the Cupertino-based gadget giant began selling the thermostat in its online store last year.

Besides its smart thermostat, the company also has reportedly set its sights on smoke detectors, although the company has declined to confirm the existence of the product.