Print 53 comment(s) - last by mike8675309.. on Oct 26 at 7:51 PM

Over time, Nest automatically learns about its homeowners through the homeowner's actions, and automatically makes temperature changes that suit the user's needs

Engineers from Google and Apple have stepped in to update a small gadget known to create large monthly energy bills: the thermostat.

Thermostats can be a pain. Some have old or complex interfaces that make it much too difficult to program, so homeowners must constantly tweak the heat or air conditioning for that right temperature. Even when a thermostat is programmed, MSNBC reports that the small box accounts for half of the power consumption of a home, leading to shocking energy bills at the end of the month.

To address these issues, a team of engineers, many of which are from Google and Apple, have come together to create an updated thermostat: the Nest learning thermostat.

Nest consists of a circular screen and a dial-based interface that is clear and simple to navigate. It tells the homeowner what the current temperature of that zone is, and how long it will take to reach a desired temperature so that the user doesn't constantly tweak it in order to reach that temperature faster and end up overcompensating.

Nest also has two types of proximity sensors. One sensor activates the screen as you near it, which saves internal battery power when you're not directly in front of it. The other identifies your occasional presence in the room, which allows it to detect when you're at home or away. It will automatically adjust its settings when you're away to save energy. When a few degrees are adjusted for energy savings, a glowing leaf appears.

What truly makes Nest unique is its ability to learn. Over time, Nest automatically learns about its homeowners through the homeowner's actions. For instance, if a homeowner has a fairly regular work pattern of leaving from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nest will pick up on this pattern and adjust temperature settings accordingly. When heat or air conditioning settings are changed, Nest is paying attention to see what the user prefers. It only takes about one week for Nest to learn regular patterns and begins making these changes automatically for the homeowner.

Nest even has built-in Wi-Fi, which allow Android, iPhone or iPad users to control the thermostat from their mobile devices. Nest is capable of learning these actions as well, and will eventually start making the adjustments that the user makes from outside of the home.

Nest is currently available for pre-order at, and will run you $250. While this seems like a pricey introductory cost, Nest engineers believe the device will pay for itself when you see a change in your energy bills.

Sources: Nest, MSNBC

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$250 - really?
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 12:35:04 PM , Rating: 5
I have a Lux thermostat.
It can be set for the week and then Sat and Sun seperatly.
It has 4 setting changes per day.
That's right you can set it to turn down the heat at night and back up in the morning.

It also KEEPS the settings for heating and cooling, so when you flip it to cool in the spring, it remembers from last summer what the settings were. Same for heating.

And it will do this all for the low price of - $20!
It called a set back thermostat.
And it's been doing this for that past 10 years.
Not sure why I'd need this $250 waste of cash!

RE: $250 - really?
By quiksilvr on 10/25/2011 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 4
Because it's made by Apple Engineers and shiny. Therefore, $250.

RE: $250 - really?
By sprockkets on 10/25/2011 1:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
$250 isn't really much. Most high end systems like Carrier Edge can cost $400, and their Infinity over $500 if you need to replace it.

Those also will do their best to anticipate heat load as well. While this thermostat tries the same via clever methods, most really will never do what Carrier's upcoming Greenspeed can do, vary the cooling and heating from 40-110% continuously. THAT is how you do precise and energy efficient cooling.

RE: $250 - really?
By Dr of crap on 10/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: $250 - really?
By sprockkets on 10/25/2011 9:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just saying, if you want a decent thermostat that works well, you are going to pay $200+ just for the thermostat.

Of course I don't expect you do know that since you aren't an a/c tech. That isn't marketing at all; those thermostats require an a/c tech to properly install. And if the one above most likely would too to reach its full potential.

RE: $250 - really?
By zibby on 10/26/2011 8:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
so what you saying is that thermostat will help boiler/furnace run at 110%? Really?

RE: $250 - really?
By sprockkets on 10/26/2011 11:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, this is true, and also already done on Mitsubishi mini splits. The compressor can go over capacity in heat mode vs. cool mode. To explain why this is possible and even necessary would take awhile.

RE: $250 - really?
By sprockkets on 10/26/2011 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
Just to clarify, this only happens on communicating thermostats that are designed to work with that system only. Obviously they can't do that on traditional 24v signaling.

RE: $250 - really?
By name99 on 10/25/2011 2:50:22 PM , Rating: 1
Because it's made by Apple Engineers and shiny

EX-Apple AND EX-Google engineers.
It's tough, isn't it, when you don't know who to hate?
You also need to hate on HP/Palm/WebOS because they are (ultimately) ex-Apple.

Maybe you can decide that MS are the underdog, and rather than ever using your brain again, you can just mindlessly praise MS' offerings and hate on anything vaguely related to Google or Apple.
But what if MS and Apple enter into some sort of joint venture? Damn, it's tough trying to go through life without ever using your mind :-(

RE: $250 - really?
By kensiko on 10/25/2011 12:58:47 PM , Rating: 3
It's a gadget, made to impress your friends when they come home

RE: $250 - really?
By ratbert1 on 10/25/2011 1:40:42 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe you already knew this but you are correct:

“If you don’t make it look beautiful, people don’t cherish it,”(Tony) Fadell told Wired. “I want it to be a jewel on the wall so that it’s a conversation piece. People come over and they go, ‘What’s that on your wall?’ and you go, ‘Oh, you’ve got to check this out.’”

RE: $250 - really?
By augiem on 10/25/2011 2:16:10 PM , Rating: 3
In other words, he wants it to stick out like a sore thumb in your house decor.

RE: $250 - really?
By curelom on 10/25/2011 1:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe I could get it to go with my $500 fan from that vacuum cleaner company. Oh wait, I don't have one because it's $500.

RE: $250 - really?
By LordSojar on 10/25/2011 5:18:28 PM , Rating: 1
It's worth the money if you want a nice looking, very easy to use and highly modern house/apartment. Personally, I'm getting 2 for my new loft next year. Even if it only pays for itself by 25-50% (which it will), it will be worth it.

RE: $250 - really?
By callmeroy on 10/25/2011 3:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Mine made by Honey Well I think but its the same deal..

Its programmed on a schedule set it and forget it... I love it it.

RE: $250 - really?
By undummy on 10/25/2011 3:22:25 PM , Rating: 3
It has the word "Nest" on it. It'll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. There is no price too big to pay for warm and fuzzy. Just look at Solyndra, Spectrawatt, EveryGreen Solar, Sunpower, Tesla, Fisker......

I don't live in a house, home, condo, apartment..... anymore. I live in a nest. OhhhhAhhhhhHmmmm

RE: $250 - really?
By Solandri on 10/25/2011 5:55:54 PM , Rating: 4
I have a Lux thermostat.
It can be set for the week and then Sat and Sun seperatly.
It has 4 setting changes per day.

And it will do this all for the low price of - $20!

We had those at work. Out of ~50 employees, I was the only one who knew how to program it, despite trying to teach the people who were actually responsible for programming it.

You remember how back when every house had a VCR, 98% of them were permanently flashing "12:00"? That's the average level of capability you're dealing with when you make gizmos which need to be programmed. A device which learns by itself and gets it right 70% of the time, is a whole lot more effective than a device which will only be programmed to work right 2% of the time.

RE: $250 - really?
By Captain Orgazmo on 10/25/2011 8:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Same applies for vehicle climate control; when I have to use company vehicles the temperature is either set to minimum or maximum from the previous driver. Boggles the mind.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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