Learning thermostat based on Apple expertise


Palo Alto, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 3, 2011 – Two ex Apple employees have launched what they say is the world’s first “learning” thermostat, that learns from the user’s behaviors, preferences and surroundings to create a custom heating and cooling schedule to keep them comfortable when at home and conserve energy when away.

The Nest Learning Thermostat utilizes a combination of sensors, algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing to learn behaviors and preferences.

Nest is claimed to program itself based on the temperatures that are set. It learns the owner’s personal schedule in a week and starts automatically turning down heating or cooling when they’re away to save energy. The schedule is refined over time.

Tracking the temperatures that are typically set, Nest also guides the user to more energy efficient ones, displaying the green Nest Leaf as a reward when the temperature is set to a more energy efficient setting. An Auto-Away™ feature uses sensors to detect when the user isn’t home, lowering the temperature and saving energy. An Energy History shows how much has been saved.

Nest can also be connected to the home Wi-Fi to control it from a laptop, smartphone or tablet, changing the temperature, adjusting the schedule or checking energy usage.

“It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn’t kept up with advancements in technology and design,” said Tony Fadell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nest Labs. “We set out to reinvent the thermostat using advanced technologies, high quality manufacturing processes and the thoughtful design elements the iPhone generation has come to expect. We hope [the Nest Learning Thermostat] will not only save money and energy, but that it will teach and inspire people to think more about how they can reduce home energy consumption.”

Tony Fadell was formerly SVP of Apple’s iPod division and together with former iPod and iPhone lead engineer Matt Rogers founded Nest Labs to “bring new life to previously ignored home products by applying the best of today’s technology and design.”

Google also has an interest in this Silicon Valley start-up with Google Ventures one of the venture capital funders, the others including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, Generation Investment Management and Intertrust.

With its pedigree, will this device – which is expected to be on shelves in mid November – be the one that will capture the imagination of the new energy managing consumer?