Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Thermostat: Reimagined

The Thermostat: Reimagined

Of all the appliances in your home, the thermostat is probably one of the most uninspiring pieces. As such, it's seen little innovation over the years. Now, Tony Fadell, an Apple employee who led the iPod and iPhone development team, is putting a fresh spin on this often ignored home fixture. He has given it a modern, classy design and numerous energy-saving features. It is called the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Its most important feature is how it learns your schedule and programs itself. In the first week after installation, you turn it up and down as you would a regular thermostat. After about a week, however, the Nest learns your habits. If you forget to turn your house down when you leave for work, it will "remember" that you want the temperature lower and will adjust itself. According to the company's white paper, this learning ability can save a user an average of $ 173 per year, excluding other handy features the Nest employs.

One of those handy features is called Auto-Away. Using an  activity sensor, the Nest "watches" for movement. If it doesn't see any motion for a few hours, it lets the heating system cool down to the minimum temperature during the cool months or warm up to the maximum temperature that the user has set during the warm months.

Pretty cool, huh? (Pun intended) The Nest will be available for $ 250 in early 2012.

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