Nest, the iPod of thermostats

October 25, 2011

The humble thermostat isn’t the first piece of technology you’d associate with Apple design sensibilities and must-have gadget status. But Nest is the iPod of thermostats, quite literally.

No, it doesn’t store and play your music collection. That would be taking it too literally. But Nest shares some things in common with the iPod, not least its inventor. That man is Tony Fadell, the man who oversaw 18 iterations of the iPod at Apple before retiring to pursue other ventures. Few people predicted those other ventures would involve revolutionizing the way we control how our homes are heated.

The Nest Learning Thermostat does exactly what it says on the tin. Here we have a thermostat that learns every time you adjust it. So if you turn it down every evening before you go to bed it will learn to do so automatically. Turn it back up when you get up in the morning and after a few days it will know to do so itself.

You can of course override the learned behavior, adjusting the temperature manually or via the iPhone app (and Android app currently in the works). The Nest Learning Thermostat isn’t cheap, costing $250, but the company predict annual savings of around $173 from switching to it, so it could potentially pay for itself within 18 months.

If you need to know any more then read the epic article detailing how Nest came to be over at Wired.

I have to admit I was dubious about the Nest thermostat upon first hearing about it. Hell, it’s only a thermostat, who cares? Sure, it looks sexier than any other thermostat I’ve ever seen but still. However, having read the views of many more intelligent people than myself I’ve been converted. Here we have a device that could save us all money and help the environment along with it. In which case it could end up being more important than the iPod in the big scheme of things. Now if only it could be hacked to play music as well.

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2 Responses to “Nest, the iPod of thermostats”

  1. Tim Coates:

    Why not buy a programmable thermostat? $50. Seems like this is an example of over engineering.

  2. Roger Nordman:

    I agree with Tim Coates above me. Go out and get yourself a Lux TX9000TS thermostat for example.

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