God, I’m so glad smart thermostats weren’t around when I was growing up. I was in a constant war with my stepdad over the thermostat as a teenager. It got to the point where my parents installed a locked plastic case over it, to which only they had the key. But then I figured out that I could just pull the whole damn thing out of the wall, turn up the heat, and then push it back into place without anyone knowing. This is my house, bitch!
Nest just got some new smart thermostat competition from a ruling incumbent: Honeywell. The home systems company unveiled its very own smart thermostat on Tuesday: Lyric, which will retail for just slightly north of what Nest charges when it hits the market later this summer.
Honeywell already has a line of wi-fi thermostats, but Lyric is different in a couple of key ways, most notably in the fact that it’s built around the user, not the house.
It takes a couple of days of programming, but the Lyric thermostat learns users’ habits and preferences and will begin automatically setting the temperature to fit your lifestyle. It includes a manual dial and an iPhone/Android app that users can fiddle with when they see fit.
And like the Nest thermostat, Lyric will automatically switch to an energy-saving mode when you’re away. But unlike Nest, which uses motion sensors to determine when users are home, Lyric uses geofencing. You can set the thermostat to make the switch when you’re 500 feet or seven miles from your home. Obviously, that means you can walk into a perfectly heated/cooled home rather than having to wait (because first world problems).
And the thermostat can tie in with all of the smartphones in your house so that the heating/cooling doesn’t shut off when one person leaves. Additionally, if you have a larger home, you can install multiple thermostats and sync them all with your smartphone.
Possibly the most interesting feature, though, is Lyric’s “fine tune” feature, which looks up local weather conditions, such as outdoor temperature and humidity, to adjust accordingly. Thus, if it’s 88 degrees outside but with high humidity, the cooling will kick up a notch.
The Lyric thermostat will work with 97% of home heating and cooling systems. Honeywell products are currently installed in 150 million homes worldwide.
Building the thermostat around the user/family has far-reaching possibilities for Lyric as a platform. Honeywell manufactures a number of home systems, including security systems, lighting, video surveillance systems, and so on.
The Lyric thermostat will be on U.S. shelves in August and will be available in Europe in 2015.