Alphabet-owned digital home technologies player Nest has revealed its third-generation thermostat, which now comes with a 40pc larger high-resolution screen and Farsight, a new software feature that displays temperature and time when movement is sensed across a room.
Exclusive to Europe, the new thermostat can now be used to control hot water tanks in addition to central heating and users can adjust or boost hot water from their smartphone while an Auto-Away sensor ensures energy savings when it knows no one is home.
The new thermostat has assumed many smartphone-like sensibilities, including a high-resolution screen that is 40pc large, while the device itself remains within its traditional frame size, albeit with a slimmer profile.
‘The only way to save on energy is to have a well-programmed thermostat’
– LIONEL PAILLET, NEST
The screen is brighter and crisper and includes new graphics to communicate information like time and temperature across a room. The screen has 229 pixels per inch, which is 25pc more than the current generation.
Proximity sensors in the device wake it up when it senses movement and users can also use their Nest thermostat as a clock in analogue or digital settings.
The thermostat also now interconnects with other Nest products like the Nest Protect CO2 monitor and the Nest Cam.
For example, if the Nest Protect sounds an emergency alarm for smoke or carbon monoxide, messages will appear on the thermostat’s display as well as on your smartphone.
You can also set your Nest Cam to turn on automatically when you switch your thermostat into Home or Away mode.
The thermostat that knows when you are sleeping, knows when you’re awake
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Nest’s general manager for Europe Lionel Paillet explained: “People don’t buy a connected home, they buy great products. The principle for us is very clear, 80pc of people don’t programme their thermostats because they are too complicated. What we have created is a family of thermostats that learn from your behaviour as you adjust the heat and over time keeps programming accurate for you across the days and the seasons.
“Our thermostats have algorithms and sensors. The only way to save on energy is to have a well-programmed thermostat,” Paillet explained.
Key to Nest’s growth in the Irish market has been alliances with Electric Ireland, which has a network of electricians who can install the thermostats in people’s homes.
“We don’t just take temperatures but we connect with internet sensors to be precise down to geographic detail and every fine grain of data such as temperature and humidity are measured,” explained Paillet.
Paillet said that the new thermostat has been designed to be discreet but also responsive. “The key is to give people more contextual information. The farther away they are they will see data like time and temperature, the closer they move towards the sensor the more contextual information and granular data they will see.”
Paillet said that the new thermostats are designed to enable homes to keep in step with new European regulations around boiler modulation, which ensures boilers remain idling rather than switching on and off and wasting energy.
“Modulated burners are appearing in the Netherlands and the UK and within three years will be mandatory in Europe.
“The Nest thermostat with Open Therm is designed to preserve the life of boilers and as you modulate there is less a chance of boilers burning out.”
He said that this could also be critical in keeping a constant supply of hot water rather than having to remember to heat up the water tank, a constant bugbear of life on these islands.
“Continually heating water actually saves you time and money and our technology allows users to schedule hot water or boost it when they need it and this also works with the seasons. We reckon 80pc of homes in Ireland will love this.”
He said heating bills in Ireland are on average €1,500 a year and the hot water element of this is 15pc.
“65pc of bills in Ireland could be refined thanks to the Nest thermostat through savings that depend on your habits. People who use the thermostat find it makes their energy usage super-efficient and ensures low temperatures at night. Also for people who may travel, the thermostat has a safety temperature feature that helps prevents pipes from freezing.”
The new third-generation Nest thermostat goes on sale online today and will be available from Harvey Norman and Electric Ireland from early December. It will be priced at €249 (inc VAT), up from €219 for the previous generation.