iPod creators thermostat may not be so crazy after all

first_imgIn case you missed the news, a former Apple employee named Tony Fadell, who was instrumental in creating the first iPod, has decided to tackle a somewhat unexpected product category with his new company. He certainly found a market that Apple has yet to lend its magic to. Fadell, known as the “father of the iPod,” is setting his sights on thermostats.His company, Nest, is aiming to revolutionize the home thermostat market. In fact, it’s the first temperature control unit that is aimed directly at the consumer. Energy efficient and wirelessly connected, it can even be controlled by an iOS (and soon Android) app. Its touchscreen face and spinning wheel dial will instantly remind people of Apple’s finest mobile products. Nest even “learns,” and should be able to more accurately provide your optimal home temperatures over time.As it turns out, the thermostat industry is ripe for an overhaul. The market is currently controlled by home installers, because nobody else wants to bother installing them. Fadell says that Nest can be installed by nearly anyone, and is compatible with 80 to 85 percent of households’ current heating and cooling systems. He estimates that it can shave 20 to 30 percent off of an average household’s energy bills.Other smart thermostats have been on the market for several years already, but they tend to do more harm than good. While they have the capabilities to save energy and optimize temperature, their setup is so complicated that most people don’t have a clue how to operate them, and end up paying more. Enter Nest, with its greater capabilities and user-friendly simplicity.Are you starting to see the parallels yet? While it isn’t likely many of us had considered it before, it’s remarkable how similar the home thermostat market is to the MP3 player, smartphone, and tablet arenas that Apple entered over the last ten years. All were sectors with emerging technology that had yet to catch on because it was too clunky and utilitarian for most consumers. Apple entered those fields and proceeded to turn each of them on its head. Fadell is hoping to use his (former) Apple magic to do the same to the thermostat market.Nest goes on sale next month for $249 at Best Buy.via CNETlast_img