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October 26, 2011 AT 7:25 am

The race for makers to remake the “Remaking of the Thermostat”

Nestjp2-Popup

At Nest Labs, Ex-Apple Leaders Remake the Thermostat @ NYTimes.com.

Nest Labs, based in Palo Alto, Calif., and founded last year, is announcing its offering on Tuesday, and plans to begin shipping the $249 thermostat by the middle of November.
Outsiders who have tried out the product are impressed by its stylish design, ease of use and advanced features, like motion-tracking sensors that detect whether people are present and adjust room temperatures accordingly. But it remains to be seen whether consumers and contractors will pay more for a high-tech thermostat, when good enough has been good enough for decades.

The big story will be the the thousands of makers that are just going to make their own (different/better) open source versions quickly after this is released. We already had a few customers email us, they’re working on it now. “DIY home automation” are the top show-and-tell projects each week too. We’ll probably pick up one just to take it apart :)


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7 Comments

  1. That was my first thought as well. I showed my wife and told her, “I can do that, but it won’t be as pretty.”

    My concern with this one is the privacy issue of a device automatically reporting that you are away out over the internet (that and ‘automatic software updates,’ come on, it’s a THERMOSTAT!)

  2. Yeah It would be sweet to see what are the 6 sensors in this beautiful device.
    Open Source Thermostat FTW.

  3. My interest is in the display. Round and appears to be dot addressable.

  4. Suggestion for future “Ask an Engineer” tutorial: powering an Arduino, or other controller, from 24 VAC (typical household thermostat voltage).

  5. For an engineering class Project I am developing a Thermostat Arduino Shield(Thermo+) to interface an Arduino to a Home Furnace and AC unit. The Idea behind this shield is that a Co-processor on it handles all the the communications with the Arduino via TWI (I2C) leaving the rest of the digital pins to interface to other shields such as Wifi, Ethernet or LCD shields creating a platform that can be used to build a fully functional Thermostat with an Arduino and the thermo+ shield as well as additional 3rd party shields to expand the features and interfaces.
    Please take a look at it and comment on the design
    thanks

  6. How frustrating… I’ve been actively working on something that incorporates this concept for like a year – and came up with it when I read my first adaptive algorithms textbook almost ten years ago. I think Sharp or someone is rolling out a gadget that closely mirrors another part of my project soon too. I’m just a few Jameco grab bags away from building prototypes… So close, yet so far. :s
    It’s good to see industry embracing modern ideas, at least.
    ~Joe

  7. Cross reference:
    New from Microsoft Research: Controlling Home Heating Using Occupancy Prediction

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/see/archive/2011/10/31/new-from-microsoft-research-controlling-home-heating-using-occupancy-prediction.aspx

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