It’s really great to see some competitive fire in a cleantech sector. The connected thermostat is soon becoming just such a battleground. Ever since Nest introduced its sleek, learning thermostat, others have taken notice that there probably is a market for connected thermostats. And that if you couple great design with energy savings, the combination tends to drive sales.
Ucilia Wang’s look at the battle over the connected thermostat is worth a read. She takes an extensive look at Honeywell’s connected thermostat, effectively its answer to Nest, you know, if its lawsuit doesn’t work out to be the solution to innovation. The thermostat has some nice features, that include a display where the color can match your walls along with a “utility mode,” where the user can input their utility rates and the thermostat can tell the user how much money he can save by using certain temperature setpoints.
Unlike Nest’s thermostat, Honeywell’s thermostat is not a learning thermostat. I wonder if the technology and data science required to build a learning thermostat is either not cheap or requires a cultural shift at a big company like Honeywell. Will consumers expect a learning thermostat? I’m not sure but I know that people don’t really want to program their thermostat. They just want to save money. Although if Honeywell’s user interface is really that good and can be accessed via a mobile device, it might motivate users to program their thermostats.