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Techmuse: Nest Thermostat

November 3, 2011

So, I will admit it. I’m an Apple geek. I like my pretty toys, and Apple is very good at making me want to buy things. So I was very intrigued when I saw reports that the “godfather” of the Ipod had designed a new piece of technology – and more intrigued when I found out it was a thermostat. First.. not a commodity, and second.. who the heck thinks about their thermostat? I admit.. if I owned a home I probably would, but I’m going to revel in my renting life for a moment.

This is basically trying to be a prettier, smarter thermostat than the programmable smart ones out there already. Input is by spinning an outside wheel and pressing the face of it (sound familiar?). The key features that are being advertised so far: It’s intelligent/learning. Once you set it a few times it’ll learn where you want the temperature during different periods of the day – colder when not home, warmer when you get home, different at night, etc. Once you do that a few times, it will do so automatically – unlike most thermostats which you have to change manually. Secondly, it has an auto-away feature – it has sensors that can tell when you are not around in the room, and if you leave and forget to change the thermostat, it’ll reduce heat to your “away” setting after two hours. Finally, after learning your normal temperatures, it’ll pop a leaf up on the display if you start moving it to a more energy efficient temperature – in effect giving you a little mini reward for saving energy.

These are all interesting. I find the leaf funny because it makes a game of the thermostat. Now the kicker is, the thing costs 250 dollars. Which is basically buying an iPhone. Pretty high tariff. I like the idea, I think if I owned a house I would be tempted, and I like the look (see this link). Just not confident it’ll take off. But then again, what does take off mean for this kind of product?

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