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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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 :-(

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

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