Father of iPod creates "Learning" thermostat

Ane Howard · October 25, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/20a1

Tony Fadell starts a new 100-person startup called Nest Labs

Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer, who is largely credited with the invention of iPod turned his creative gaze to the problems of conserving energy at home, and launched a new startup Nest Labs. The first product to come out of Nest is a smart thermostat that can be programmed remotely and remembers your  heating and cooling preferences. Fadell discussed on his blog the making of what his team calls the "Learning Thermostat".

“Turns out you change the temperature in your house 1500 times a year. 1500! Our thermostat learns what temperatures you like so it can program itself. It senses when you’re out and turns itself down. And we started from scratch with design, so it’s beautiful. Gorgeous hardware, easy install, fully integrated software, remote control from your smartphone," he wrote.

And what a team he has. Fadell turned to former Apple colleagues Matt Rogers and Mike Matas to help develop the Learning Thermostat. Rogers focused on the design the device while Matas focused on its user-friendly and spare interface. And looking at it, there's no denying the Apple wand touched that product.

It's sleek. It's pretty. And, it's functional. 

The Learning Thermostat is indeed a pretty smart little device. Nest claims that after a week of daily usage, the thermostat remembers your preferred temperatures and schedule, and automatically adjusts the temperature in your home accordingly. In the process saving the users a hefty amount on cooling and heating energy bills. 

Nest may be on to something. The Environmental Protection Agency says that as part of an overhaul energy saving program, that a properly programmed thermostat can indeed contribute to a  20% saving off your energy bill. The trick is to program the thermostat properly, and on schedule. Turn it down while you're out of the home, and at night while you're asleep. Schedule it for vacations, and other times away from home.

Without a doubt reminiscent of the iPod design, the Learning Thermostat is small, simple and sleek with  a small digital display and a wheel to select options on the menus.  When the user is away from home, he can schedule the device remotely with an iOS app, and/or one for Android devices.

It is compatible with 85% of American household HVAC systems. Nest claims that it is as easy to install than a light fixture. It goes on sale in November at Best Buy stores or can be pre-order from Nest directly.  It comes with a price tag of $249. 

Now, I am wondering what else Nest Labs is going to design. 

At this moment, NestLabs was not available for comments.

big image: Tony Faddell NestLabs

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Ane Howard

I am a social journalist covering technology innovations and the founder of RushPRNews.com, an international newswire.

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