Nest has announced the roll out of Family accounts and home/away assist. These handy new features will enable households to better configure their Nest setup. The latter is fairly self-explanatory – you can now have up to 10 people access connected Nest products located in your home using the Nest apps with their own accounts. Now everyone can control the heating, check out live feeds and receive alerts from Nest Protect.

As for detecting whether or not anyone is actually present at the house, Nest has opted to approach this differently to geofencing, which can cause issues. Using a mobile device to determine whether someone is home or not is a bad idea. Not only could you mistakenly turn the heating off by leaving the house with the phone and making it unbearable for those still in the house, but it's also not very accurate. Would you want your heating on if you're next-door?

Nest will utilize sensors built into the company's products, as well as learning algorithms and any connected phones. This also works well with family accounts who can use the app on their own smartphones. That way, should you leave the house while someone is still at home, Nest should be able to use sensors and geofencing on other household phones to work out that the heating should remain on. (Only if it's cold of course.)

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