It has taken me a couple weeks to catch up on the daunting stack of magazines that awaited me after being out of the country for six weeks. I am finally caught up, which means that I just read about this beauty - the Nest Learning Thermostat.
Designed by Tony Fadell, formerly of Apple and designer of the original iPod, the Nest is the thermostat we all never knew we needed. Using software that analyzes and tracks your usage patterns over time, it will program itself in a week to understand your heating and cooling needs. It also has built in sensors that keep track of whether or not you’re at home and a wi-fi connection that monitors the weather outside so that it can intelligently understand how the changing temperatures affect your usage behavior.
Aside from the gorgeous minimalist design, what I love about the Nest is that it solves a serious problem. In Fadell's research, he discovered that 10 million thermostats are sold every year, yet only 6% of programmable ones are actually programmed. He also discovered that the heating and cooling of our homes accounts for 50% of our energy bills. Considering this impact, it makes sense to really look at creating design solutions for every day items like thermostats. As Fadell says, and which I am 100% guilty of, "instead of programming their thermostats, most people have given up and treat it like a light switch." According to Nest, you'll save 20 - 30% a month on your electric bill, which means that it can easily pay for itself in about a year. Unfortunately, the Nest isn't compatible with my building's system so I can't test it out myself. You can check here to see if yours is.
*Via Fast Company