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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: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By Fritzr on 10/25/2011 1:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
There are 2 different siturations where the higher/lower temp setting speeds things up.

1) intelligent furnace/heat pump/AirCon that selects high/med/low depending on temp differential.

2) User is conditioned to believe that selecting a large differential causes the device to work faster. (Watched pot effect)

In either case the user is required to return to the thermostat to reset it when the desired temperature is reached. This rarely occurs resulting in enduser complaints about lousy thermostats :P


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 2:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
I like the method of just leaving the A/C on at 72 all summer and not turning the heat on at all during the winter. That's what hoodies and blankets are for. You want to save money do that method. I save a bunch of money.


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By bobsmith1492 on 10/25/2011 2:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Good for you for living somewhere warm. The other 100 million of us in the US don't have that convenience. :-)


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 2:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Maryland does get cold in the winter. The temp can range from negatives to over 100 throughout the year. So it's not a walk in the park.


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By bobsmith1492 on 10/25/2011 2:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
You apparently have never had a frozen pipe?


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 2:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, I have dealt with them when they freeze at my parents because there basement does not have great insulation but never had an issue with my pipes freezing even when the temp gets really cold. The coldest it gets inside the house is typically around 40


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 3:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
You sir are either an idiot or don't have the money to heat your house.
Why not live in a tent? It's about the same temp.
My house never goes below 65°F. And that at night ONLY.


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 3
Actually it's not my choice lol My wives thinks it saves us so much money. It saves us about 50 bucks a month. But happy wife happy life. It doesn't bother me too much though. Plus the 40 is only at night as well. It's really not that bad and you get used to it.


By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 3
meant wife not wives lol


By MrTeal on 10/25/2011 2:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? Burst pipes mean you don't even have to go to the faucet to get a glass of water. That's super convenient.


RE: Aren't heaters and AC either on or off?
By callmeroy on 10/25/2011 3:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Screw that. I'm not a rich by ANY means..trust me...but being comfortable in my own house is one of those things I think "well what the hell do I bust my ass for at work if I can't even be comfortable in my own house..."


By cjohnson2136 on 10/25/2011 3:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
Whats uncomfortable to one could be comfortable to another


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