Nest devices now talk to the rest of your automated home

Nest's thermostat and Protect smoke detector may help automate your home, but they haven't actually talked directly to home automation systems so far -- a bit of a discrepancy, don't you think? All should be well now, though, since the Works with Nest program has just expanded to support the whole-home automation gear from Control4, Crestron, RTI and URC. If you're fortunate enough to have one of those systems, you can now integrate Nest equipment with home theaters, lighting and anything else that talks to one of the supported control hubs.

To top it off, Nest is also tying into Google's other big household technology acquisition, Dropcam. Its internet-savvy security cameras can now react to whatever your Nest equipment is doing. If your thermostat says you're away, Dropcam can turn on motion sensing. The smoke protector, meanwhile, can tell Dropcam to record a brief video to prove that there's a real fire. It'll be very expensive to try out any these improvements if you don't already have the necessary setup, but they promise to alleviate a lot of the headaches that come with managing a technology-rich household.