If ever you ever thought that thermostats were boring, the folks from Nest are about to blow your mind. The Nest Learning Thermostat is a brand new gadget designed by the fathers of the iPod that learns your behavior and creates a heating and cooling schedule that matches your lifestyle. Over time it learns when you wake up in the morning, when you leave for work, and when you come home — and it can help cut your energy bill in half while saving cash on your utility bills.
Like the infamous iPod, the Nest Learning Thermostat is controlled with a simple wheel that helps you program the temperature and the length of heating and cooling cycles. Every time you turn the wheel it makes a mental note of your actions and begins compiling data on how you like your home cooled and heated. When you leave the house, the thermostat sets itself to an efficient temperature that makes sure to not waste energy heating or cooling unnecessarily while you’re away. But if you’d like to make sure you come home to a nice and toasty living room after work, you can control the Nest from a distance with your smart phone.
The Nest costs $249 and will go on sale in major electronics stores next month. It starts to learn your behavior in just a week and has six different sensors that keep track of things like motion, light, temperature and humidity. It knows to change the temperature of a room when you are staying in it, but it also acknowledges when you are just passing through. This is a very handy trick when it comes to saving energy. If, say on Saturday, you are generally home and doing chores at one in the afternoon but on this particular day you happen to be away on a family outing, the Nest will know that it hasn’t detected any motion in a while and will turn the temperature down to an energy saving level till you get back. Best of all, you can simply replace your old thermostat with this new one – there’s no need to change your entire system.