Alphabet’s Nest Introduces Cheaper Thermostat

Nicholas Isaac August 31, 2017
Alphabet’s Nest Introduces Cheaper Thermostat

Alphabet Inc.’s Nest introduced a cheaper version of its digital thermostat to spur sales as the smart home sector expanded its smart thermostat line.

The company revealed the Nest Thermostat E on Thursday, which is the latest installment in its line of thermostats. Like its predecessors, the Thermostat E can be controlled via the company’s Nest smartphone app, but comes with an intensely different design and a cheaper price than the original flagship, Thermostat.

The new model costs $170, coming in $80 below the current version, Nest said. To cut costs, Nets used plastic rather than metal for the edges that surround the circular thermostat and swapped the full color screen for a frosted display with fewer colors.

The cheaper model still functions similarly to the original, allowing users to adjust the temperature by turning the device’s circular dial. It still connects to a smartphone, letting people adjust their home’s climate slightly, and adapts to conditions and use automatically.

Nest was founded and acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion based on a long-term goal of becoming the leading operating system for the home. Lately, the focus has been on boosting sales of its hardware devices. The Alphabet unit is also working on a home security system as well as a doorbell with a built-in video camera for next year.

Nest Thermostat E

The Nest Thermostat E is designed to "subtly blend" into its environment, Nest said in a statement. The device comes with a white exterior ring instead of the metallic finish found on the Learning Thermostat.

The thermostat's display comes with a "frosted" design. It's been specially engineered to let light out from its screen, but not let light in. The effect makes the screen look gray when the display is off.

When the screen is on, the Nest Thermostat E uses an ambient light sensor to only light up the screen as much as required at that moment.

On the software side, users will find a pre-set schedule, which will turn the thermostat on and off based on the average user's habits. It also comes with the learning techniques employed in Nest's Learning Thermostat, so the Thermostat E can analyze how users employ heat and air conditioning and create a custom schedule based on that.

In an interview, Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product marketing, said its aim with the new Thermostat E was to appeal to customers who were not quite so “discerning” about such design details, while bringing the environmental benefits of energy saving to more people.

“Our mission statement says, ‘take care of the world around the home’. To do that, we need to reach a mass-market customer,” he said.

“Nest Thermostat E?.?.?.?is not meant for high-end customers who spend three months choosing the floor lamp and curating their home, it’s meant for customers who are focused on other important things in their life?.?.?.?[such as] family and who want something that just works and blends in.”

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Nicholas Isaac


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