Google Testing Smart Thermostat in St. Louis
December 17, 2013 11:43 AM
It wants to collect data to build applications and services that will ultimately make the energy grid more efficient
could soon have some competition as Google is reportedly testing a new smart thermostat.
, Google is currently testing Internet-connected smart thermostats that keep an eye on energy use in the home. The thermostats have been developed under the project name "EnergySense."
Not much is known about the hardware itself, except that some have speculated it was made by a third party like Ecobee (Ecobee said it isn't working with Google directly, but that the search giant could be using its hardware anyway).
The testing is currently being conducted by participants in St. Louis, Missouri, who are not Google employees. It may soon reach out to other areas.
Nest's smart thermostat
Google, which was working on a smart thermostat two years ago and ended up scrapping the idea, is reportedly not looking to necessarily compete with Nest. Rather, it wants to collect data to build applications and services that will ultimately make the energy grid more efficient. However, Nest also has an app that aims to do the same thing.
Nest, a company made up of former Apple engineers, introduced its smart thermostat that was
capable of learning
its environment and change temperature settings accordingly back in October 2011. It's currently available for $250 on the Nest website.
In October of this year, Nest announced its latest product, which is a smoke alarm called
It detects smoke and carbon monoxide in the home by beeping intermittently while a robot voice alerts you about what exactly is wrong. For instance, the robot will say things like “Heads-up, there’s smoke in the bedroom” or “Emergency, there’s smoke.”
Protect had a November release date with a price tag of $130.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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