It’s been about 7 weeks since I wrote my last blog. I could blame it on travel (both work and personal), work demands, or even being lazy. But the truth is that it’s probably somewhere in between…AND I needed to find a topic that sparked some creativity. Ironically that started with a thermostat. Yes, a “normal” thermostat.
This device is called the Nest and was created in part, by some of the original developers on the Apple iPod team from the early 2000’s. As you can see above, the idea that this is a normal household device is extremely far from the truth. I told my wife it looks like something from the Jetsons. Although I read about it in tech blog postings, and on the Nest company website, I had yet to buy it because well…it was quite an expensive gadget! And though I am a self admitted gadget-guy, I also have no problem waiting till generation 2 or even 3 (please see my iPad 1 as a reference) to wait to acquire a fun toy. Practical perhaps. Plus, is it even practical to have something on my wall controlling my house temperature which has more processing power than the computer I had on my desk 10 years ago?! Probably not. But if it’s given as a gift, well then heck yeah, let’s mount that George Jetson looking thermostat up there and give it a whirl.
Installation took less than 30 minutes. Gadget-guy doesn’t equal handyman in my case, but the use of very basic installation instructions and a YouTube video to help out with some of the details, made it fairly straightforward. Set up took another 10 minutes, mostly to connect it to my wireless network to enable all of the other bells and whistles, e.g. setting it remotely via my iPhone or other mobile device (Parenthetically, I think this might be used more than anything during the summer 110 degrees in Dallas when I’m headed home and I know the house will be hot). That’s when the real fun started. Nest informed me it was going to “learn” about our habits for a week. Figure out our preferences, timing, etc and also how to save me a few bucks on my electricity bill this summer.
So now, I’m a week into the learning phase. It appears to be assembling a typical schedule for us that I am able to edit if necessary. The mobile app control features are great too. My wife still doesn’t know how to set it, though, she works with Macs all day so the simplicity and one button-ness will be very familiar. All positives I guess.
However, the truth is I can’t tell if it’s actually going to save me anything other than aesthetic embarrassment. I’ll give it a chance, because well, it was a gift and I like gadgets. And I’d have to say, it looks really cool compared to the dinosaur touch screen thing I had up there before.