The 21st Century thermostat has arrived. Well actually, a much better looking 21st Century Thermostat has arrived. Programmable, wireless, iPhone-merging wall units have been around for some years now, but this is the first one that guests might actually want to touch just to play with it.
It comes to us from Nest, which was founded by the creator of the iPod, and made with the same precision beauty we’re used to seeing straight out of Cupertino. Obviously, home energy savings can be significant with a programmable thermostat in the home (I’m guilty of forgetting to turn things down at night with the standard.) But Tony Fadell thought the world was ready for an even simpler device – one that learns and adapts to your changing heating or cooling needs and requires very little setup to start saving you money.
“If you don’t make it look beautiful, people don’t cherish it,” 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.’ If it can invite conversation, we think we’re going to be able to drive awareness. We’re going to drive more interest, and people will actually save energy.”
Of course, to own your own will come with a high entry price of $250 – but even the iPod was considered too expensive when it first came out. So far, reviews are very positive.
“Unless heating or cooling is on your mind, there isn’t much reason you’d turn to the Nest Learning Thermostat either,” says Edward Baig of USAToday. “Except that this is the coolest thermostat I’ve ever come across, and I don’t mean cool as in temperature. Nest smashes any preconceived notions of what a thermostat ought to look like and how it should operate — whether you’re in front of it or accessing it remotely from an iPhone or iPad. It takes advantage of cloud computing and what techies refer to as machine-learning. And it learns from your behavior.”
What do you think? Will you be one of the first to grab this little dial – or will you wait until something cheaper comes down the line in a few years time? Check out a video of the unit in action below.