If you are American, NEST does not mean National Employers Savings Trust. it means an internet controlled household management system owned by the same people who own google.
So don’t be confused by the title of this week’s article in Mashable “Nest finally realize we don’t all live alone”.
The article is itself is sinister to those worried about civil liberties
According to a blog post on the new Home/Away Assist feature, Nest will now also use your phone’s location to tell if you’re home or away. It will gather even more information from everyone you add as a family user. If you’re not home but your smartphone-carrying teen daughter is, Nest will know not to shut off the heat.
To Mashable, a tech-friendly blogspace, the potential intrusion is BAU, but I suspect most non-mash fans will feel slightly queasy that Nest and its owners have real time information about our and our family’s every move.
Which is not to say that our homely NEST is a secret portal for a Government intent on spying on us. The thought had not crossed my mind!
The suggestion that NEST has the capacity to control our home environment is purely a misconception arising from an unfortunate transatlantic brand confusion. But there will be some who read this blog who suspect that the coincidence is more than brand deep. The thinking behind NEST as a pension brand is about making a household name, Nest in the States is a name in the household. To some, both uses of the brand are intrusive and too cosy by half.
In order for NEST to put distance between itself and the Government, it has been at pains to impress upon employers, intermediaries and the Government that it is a standalone entity. However its best efforts are thwarted by statements on Government websites to the effect that NEST is its own scheme (effectively our scheme). NEST should stand and fall on its merits and £400m better at collecting and investing our money than you or I would be.
I very much doubt that Google’s owners Alphabet are £400m the poorer for owning Nest , nor that they are waiting 60-70 years to see a return on their investment (as we the taxpayer will need to)
We can only hope that NEST does not see the need to expand into household management. One of the American Nest’s rivals , run by Amazon has voice activation and is reported to be forever responding to announcements on the TV or radio. now there is an opportunity for our Government!