The Nest smart thermostat may soon by sitting on an Apple store shelf near you, an appropriate move for a company created by the former senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division.
iLounge is reporting that the thermostat, which has gained much popularity in the connected-home-device category, will be sold at Apple stores for the same price on its website, $249. The thermostat proved that popularity when it was first made available for purchase. It quickly sold out of available pre-orders, and left people waiting into 2012 for their orders to be filled. Currently, Nest is available online, in your local Nest-approved stores, and in home improvement giant Lowes. The company also announced Tuesday that it will be shipping to Canada.
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Nest was created by two former Apple employees, both involved in the iPod division. Tony Fadell oversaw the iPod division as a senior vice president, and Matt Rogers was a lead engineer of iPod software. The thermostat itself is very Apple-like in design. It has a round face, similar to the circular control panel of an iPod, and is a very clean, straightforward device. You can control the thermostat using the thermostat itself, a web interface, and of course, an iPhone or iPad application.
Nest can learn your daily patterns and adapt the temperature of your house to those habits. For instance, Nest can remember around what time you come home every evening and turn on the heat so you come back to a warm house. It also knows when you leave for the day, and will conserve energy while you’re gone without you having to remember to turn off the AC. Using the app, you can turn the system on remotely, as well.
The thermostat also gives money and earth-saving tips, such as turning down your thermostat by 1 degree will save you $20 a month.
But with popularity comes rivals. Honeywell recently sued the company, saying that Nest ripped off a number of patents it held for its own connected-home-device technology, Total Connect Comfort Systems. This included features like its round dial face, and its ability to self-energize by feeding off a small amount of the overall home’s electrical system. Naturally, Nest brought on Apple’s former chief patent counsel Richard Lutton Jr. to fight the suit against Honeywell.