Tony Fadell, once Apple’s chief architect, the one who was in charge of developing the iPod and the first three versions of iPhone, now has his own company and does only one little thing: a thermostat. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But Nest, the world’s maybe most expensive and complex thermostat is not at all something ordinary.
Inspired by Steve Jobs’ passion for simplicity, Fadell built the Nest with both design and ease of use in mind, while at the same time making its functions innovative. The Nest has a circular shape and is controllable with only one button.
Once installed, it will learn your heating/cooling habits and after a week of learning, it will suggest the best pattern you should use to maximize energy efficiency and reduce consumption.
Fadell says his Nest can cut off up to 30 percent of a regular home’s energy consumption. It will feature a Wi-Fi and ZigBee connection, for allowing the grid operators to interact with it, in order to help the electricity network at peak consumption times. The Wi-Fi connection will allow the Nest to communicate with smartphones and computers, and the ZigBee protocol will set a communication path with the various smart power meters available on the market.
All of the features enumerated above have been put inside the Nest with a possible future smart grid in mind.
Nest Labs has already gathered funds from various investors, including Google Ventures, Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins, and already has 100 employees. The smart thermostat will hit the market by mid-November at a retail price of $250. Kinda expensive imho, but as it will enter the mainstream market the price will surely drop and become a widely-accepted standard.