News Worms
News Worms


Nest selling cheaper Internet-connected thermostat to reach masses

Nest selling cheaper Internet-connected thermostat to reach masses

The new smart home device was leaked just last week, and will hit the market with a more industrial-style design, that makes use of a frosted display and a white, plastic exterior surrounding the display as opposed to the stainless steel used on all the previous versions of the Nest Learning Thermostat models. It has now unveiled a new model, named Thermostat E, that's less stylish and more simplistic, less sleek and more understated, but surprisingly at least as functional as its more costly sibling.

The Nest Thermostat E is created to "subtly blend" into its environment, Nest said in a statement.

The E will run on the same software as Nest's original $249 thermostat, but lacks certain features like displaying the time or weather on its screen.

That means if you have an advanced two or three-stage HVAC system, you would still need to buy the more expensive thermostat. Nest claims that its thermostats save homeowners between 12 percent and 15 percent on their heating and cooling bills on average each year, which is really the feature it's going to try to sell new customers on. Whereas the Nest Learning Thermostat is made out of metal with a glossy finish, the Thermostat E features a polycarbonate chassis with a "ceramic-like" control dial that gives it a plainer look.

Nest's new goal is to save 100 billion kWh, which they've calculated to be enough energy to power every home in NY state for two years.

The Thermostat E will also be compatible with fewer heating and cooling systems (mostly higher-end ones, Nest says, like those that include a humidifier), but it's still supposed to be good for 85 percent of homes. When the frosted display is off, the screen is grey.

When I asked Veron why Nest's "cheaper" thermostat still costs $169, he said that's just what it costs to build a Nest-quality product.

For its price, users will still get presence detection and integration with third-party services via Works with Nest.

The gadget still works with the same Nest app as its older iteration, so you can control it remotely through a phone or by yelling at an Echo or Google Home.

By making smart thermostats more appealing to a broader audience, Nest is hoping to see a 3x increase in sales over the next four years. It supports Google Assistant, of course - Google owns Nest - and Amazon Alexa. Founder and longtime CEO Tony Fadell departed a little over a year ago, and questions about the company's performance have dogged Nest since then.

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