These days it seems like everything out there connects to the internet. Recently, Mr. Coffee released a coffee maker that will send you reminders and let you schedule brews from your iPhone. Last week the world's best tech companies gathered in Las Vegas for CES 2015 and all the buzz was about the so called Internet of Things (IoT).
Between the Hapifork (a fork monitoring how fast and how much you eat) and the Oral-B SmartSeries (a toothbrush monitoring how great of a job you do with brushing), there are many great uses of technology in our current devices. On this flip-side is the Nest Learning Thermostat. A device designed to completely rethink home heating/cooling. It attempts to bring a market with no advancement in 20 years up to present day in one new device.
All these claims are nothing more than claims until you actually experience a house with a Nest installed. A few weeks ago I installed one of these bad boys and I am already impressed.
First off, I am by no means a handyman and installation was simple. The whole process took me about 10 minutes and connecting it with the iPhone app was as simple as typing in a four digit code. During the first week I monitored and changed temperature using the thermostat and many times the iPhone App. Since then I have not fiddled with the temperature much and instead I am letting the Nest do that job.
The Nest is called a 'learning' thermostat because it is designed to get smarter the longer it lives in your house. I quickly learned that the first week is critical to establishing a baseline. Since then I have noticed on several occasions that the Nest had put itself in 'Away' mode once my family was gone for a period of time. Even better, once I pulled into the neighborhood the Nest would kick back to 'Home' mode. You only need to define the temperature you want associated with the modes, but the Nest learns how to go back and forth between them.
I (like most people) NEVER programmed my thermostat in the past. Now I have a tool in my home that is actively trying to save me energy costs and most of the time I don't have to do a thing to help. That has to be a lot more valuable than a toothbrush or fork.