New Smart Thermometer Programs Itself to Control Energy Use

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Nest Learning Thermostat

The inventor of the iPod has developed a smart thermometer that can program itself based on your behavior patterns, knows when you’re not home, and optimizes temperatures to minimize energy use. The Nest Learning Thermostat, designed by Tony Fadell’s new startup, Nest Labs, uses six sensors that track temperature, motion, humidity, and ambient light to control energy consumption. Within a week, the device begins to create a schedule for heating based on the user’s habits, adjusting the heating and cooling automatically when no one is home and documenting how much energy is used each day. Using a Wi-Fi connection, the technology also tracks weather conditions and forecasts, enabling it to better monitor how outside conditions affect the user’s energy use. While it costs $249, the company says the technology, which will be available commercially in mid-November, will cut energy costs by an average of $173 per year.

photo: Nest Learning Thermostat

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360 .

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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