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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 Nest.com, 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: How does it detect
By Netscorer on 10/25/2011 1:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Potentially, yes. At least a thermostat in each zone and ability to communicate with each other. This way your entire house can act as one united zone that is triggered by human's presence. Let's say you leave your house for work every day at 8am but your stay at home wife likes the house to be warm, so the thermostat keeps the house nice and toasty. But your wife may go shopping for couple of hours or go to gym or run any other errands. No need to keep house as warm when no one is at home. In the future your house will be constantly aware of your whereabouts and be able to adjust accordingly.


RE: How does it detect
By curelom on 10/25/2011 1:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
That's too bad. The technology in the thermostat itself looks exciting, but I suppose you have to deal with the early adopter pricing, possibly needing 3 or 4 for an average house. $1000.
I'll wait for some knock-offs to come to market and get those.


RE: How does it detect
By Natch on 10/26/2011 8:35:17 AM , Rating: 2
So we need not just one grossly overpriced unit, but 3 or 4 of them? Yeah, okay.....hope no one's holding their breath for that to happen!

quote:
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 I read that, I immediately considered the "vegging on the couch, watching movies all day" situation, where you're not walking past the thermostat for a while.....until you suddenly realize you're having to wrap up with a blanket, because the genius technology has dropped the temperature in the house 10 degrees, because it "knows" you're not home!

Thanks, but no thanks.


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