Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nest Thermostat

Next Steps In Home Energy Management

(I promised to cover a few items getting buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Here's the first of them)

You almost certainly have a thermostat in your house or apartment. Maybe you try your best to use it well to manage heating and cooling energy in your space. Maybe you mostly ignore it. Maybe you curse it. But you probably don't love your thermostat. The Nest just might change that.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is truly the next generation. It's a very intelligent thermostat which learns as you use it. Adjust the temperature and the Nest recognizes the changes you make and the times of day you make them. Over a short period of time (days), it develops a profile of use and applies it. Unlike cumbersome programmable thermostats, which you program through tedious menus and steps, the Nest learns from what you actually do with it. Once your patterns are established, one time changes won't change the pattern the Nest uses, but a few repetitions of that change over a few days and the pattern will be adjusted. Beyond that, the Nest can be accessed from an iPhone, iPad or Android device to adjust settings from the couch or from a much greater distance.

Co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers set out to reinvent the thermostat using the lessons of the best consumer electronics, with pleasing user interfaces and progressive learning. They hoped to create something that would help people to save energy and money using a device that made it much simpler, and much more satisfying to do so. They put serious design effort into the project, and serious horsepower in the box as a TechCrunch Teardown of the device reveals

The Nest is in short supply right now, but my friend Jorj Bauer has one and says that he likes that "its interface isn't from 1970." His whole family uses it and they really like that the unit can adjust appropriately when they are out of the house, saving energy.

The $250 price tag is quite high for a thermostat, but it really could help you save serious money over the long term, and might just help you to have a little fun as you think about home energy conservation. 

Many of the devices at CES this week are more exotic than this one, but the Nest is a device I could really see myself buying. What about you? Leave a comment and let us know.


Thanks for reading!
If you enjoy this blog, please +1 it below, share it on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, or suggest it to your friends. More readers will drive more discussion.

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally into this. I love that it checks local weather and uses that to anticipate settings. Of course, I'd like to know a little more about the security, especially the mobile phone apps ("Nest is completely secure and uses public key cryptography. Its security features include HTTPS, SSL and 128-bit encryption.") But I'm really keen to better understand the "auto away" feature. What if I'm just upstairs for a really long time??