Admittedly, thermostats are generally not very exciting, and not something you’d expect to see in a gadget-loving Apple Store, but as of Wednesday, the Nest Thermostat made its way to the shelves of all physical and online Apple Stores (also available at Lowes) with a price tag of $250 and the promise of revolutionizing heating and cooling.
So, what makes this thermostat so special? Just as you would expect from an Apple endorsed product, the Nest is very intuitive. As you adjust your temperature settings throughout the day, it gradually “learns” your heating and cooling patterns and changes the settings automatically without you having to touch the device.
For example, if you typically turn your temperature down before going to work and then turn it back up when you get home, it will pick up on your patterns and regulate the temperature accordingly. Within about a week, it will learn your habits and maintain the perfect climate in your house all on its own.
Also, it has several energy saving features, including the ability to adjust the thermostat remotely through the internet. So, if you forget to turn down the temperature or plan to be away longer than expected you can make changes from wherever you are.
And even if you are at home, you don’t have to get off the couch to regulate the thermostat, just use the Nest app on your iPad, iTouch, or iPad to make any adjustments.
Besides having a lot of cool features, it’s also pretty snazzy to look at, and the modern-looking control wheel is just begging to be turned (really, you might need to watch your friends around it). Instead of having a boring white or beige box on your wall, you can proudly display this gadget that, although circular, is very Apple-esque.
Incidentally, it’s no mystery why the Nest blends so well into the Apple family as a couple of its founders, namely Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, worked for many years in the iPod company.
All that said, are the Nest’s inventive features really worth $250 (especially when you consider you can buy an ordinary thermostat for under $50)? Will this gadget pay for itself in energy savings, or is just a novelty for tech junkies and those with plenty of disposable income?