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#351280 - 03/04/2012 18:08 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: altman]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
Update: in the late afternoon (5-7pm) my Nest gets direct sunlight through the window. The black plastic of the Nest case seems excellent at absorbing all this light as heat, raising the thermostat some 8 degrees above the ambient air temperature.

After going back and forth with Nest tech support, it turns out that the Nest does include two ambient light sensors (one for visible light and one for IR) but they're apparently not attempting to do anything useful with those sensors, like try to model the degree to which the Nest might be heated by the ambient light. Instead, my Nest was predictably over-cooling the house and its reported ambient temperature matched precisely what my temperature gun measured on the surface of the Nest.

The workaround is that I've programmed in less cooling for that two hour range. It deeply disappoints me that my $40 Honeywell never had this problem but my $250 Nest does have the problem. Presumably, the cheap white plastic of the Honeywell reflects more light.

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#351312 - 04/04/2012 16:34 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: DWallach]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3153
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: DWallach
The workaround is that I've programmed in less cooling for that two hour range. It deeply disappoints me that my $40 Honeywell never had this problem but my $250 Nest does have the problem. Presumably, the cheap white plastic of the Honeywell reflects more light.

That's a rather seasonal fix. For just $4, Home Depot can sell you a can a spray-paint that will give you a year-round solution. smile

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#351332 - 05/04/2012 13:07 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: canuckInOR]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
How about a motorized dolly system and some sensors to track the sun a move the NEST around your wall so it's always shaded? wink
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#351338 - 05/04/2012 13:59 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Woke up to an e-mail from Nest that 2.0 is rolling out. This includes a new update for the thermostat, and the mobile apps on iOS/Android.

Added in is a new feature called airwave, among other things. Still a bit weird that my thermostat just gained a feature overnight, but also pretty cool.

http://www.nest.com/2012/04/05/nest_thermostat_software_brings_more_info_savings_access/
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Tom

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#351344 - 05/04/2012 16:54 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: altman]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
Originally Posted By: altman
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Cute. The author claims there's Zigbee in there. We've got a "smart meter" on our house that speaks Zigbee, and I've got a not terribly clever battery-powered display that gives me data reported by the meter. Can my Nest (eventually) patch into this?


Can't really comment on that, apart from saying that Zigbee is a standards nightmare. Everyone appears to be running different layer2's over it...


Dan, what smart meter do you have? The way you describe it, it sounds like you are referring to the power companies meter, rather than something you added. If this is the case you know of other add on products that could do this? Might be looking for something like this later in the year.

Altman, colour me interested in knowing more about my house's energy consumption. Be this Nest and other such devices talking to each other, or the data being pulled or pushed to a device* that can process and publish it.

*Said device should not be an always on PC, but a little shell script on a router. Or in this connected age, just a page in the cloud. And no I'm not fully thinking though the pluses and minuses, I'll leave that to smarter people than I.

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#351346 - 05/04/2012 17:10 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Phoenix42]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
So far as I can tell, the standard nomenclature is that a "smart meter" is a fancy computerized replacement for the traditional electrical meter that goes outside your house. I don't know who built ours, but it does have some kind of Zigbee wireless support.

A while ago, I managed to find the proper people at our power company and got myself a "remote display" (battery-powered LCD contraption, roughly the size of a cassette tape case, but thicker). There's a not terribly user friendly process where you type some digits from the back of the thing (a MAC address or something) into the utility company's web site, and then it all starts working. My particular remote display is manufactured by Honeywell (or really, some small startup that they bought).

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#351349 - 05/04/2012 17:48 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: DWallach]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
Sounds like the hard part is finding the right people at the power company...Thanks.

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#352056 - 09/05/2012 01:50 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Phoenix42]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2659
Loc: Manteca, California
Looks like the Nest has landed in Lowe's home improvement stores.
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#352059 - 09/05/2012 11:11 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: gbeer]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
I find been stocked at a B&M store more impressive then been listed on the BestBuy website. If the stars align I'll be buying a Nest later this year.

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#352064 - 09/05/2012 13:03 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Phoenix42]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
I saw mention ins some thread, don't think it was on this forum, where they mentioned Nest 2.0 or some similar term, in the context of a newer product rather then the recent firmware, but didn't provide any additional information. Is there any such information in the public domain, or did I just get the context wrong, or "No comment" smile.

Edit: found it
Quote:
They called it Nest 2.0 but nowhere do I yet see mention of features that are still being promised for Nest +.

So the above questions, but Nest + not Nest 2.0.


Edited by Phoenix42 (09/05/2012 13:34)

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#352066 - 09/05/2012 14:36 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Phoenix42]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I know they did make changes to the mounting plate to make wiring even easier for the units being sold now. Maybe that is it?
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Tom

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#352070 - 09/05/2012 15:06 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: drakino]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
Yeah, I think the change is just a tweak to the mounting plate. And they didn't fix my biggest complaint, namely that if you get the screw holes slightly wrong, you have no wiggle room to get the mounting plate completely level.

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#352445 - 31/05/2012 21:56 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
How are you Nest owners liking your thermostats?

I'll be moving soon, and would love to put a couple of these in. One to replace the main thermostat, and the other to place in the bedroom for proper climate control at night.

My main curiosity is the learning feature. I'm curious, because I'm skeptical that it could ever learn in a household like mine. My wife and I have ideal temperatures that are about 6 degrees apart, so we constantly want different temps. But even more relevantly, I simply do not have a normal schedule. I am never in or out of the house at the same time every weekday. Do you have any idea how the Next would adapt to me?

And lastly, can you turn the learning feature off entirely?
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#352446 - 31/05/2012 22:37 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Still really like mine. A few new things have been rolled in like Airwave, and now monthly e-mail summary reports.

Can't comment on how two work together, I just have one.

Learning feature worked well for me, as it figured out my base schedule and when I tend to cool the house a little more prior to bed and raise it back up in the morning. Being able to edit the schedule on my iPad has been really handy, for the rare times I want to make a manual tweak. Auto away works well in my setup as well, for the erratic weekend or if I work from home a bit. No idea how it will work in your place, but it seems to be doing well here. It's figured out my AC system decently and shows pretty accurate estimates now on time to temperature.

And yes, you could just shut down learning entirely.

Attached is the daily energy report from my iPhone.


Attachments
IMG_2102.jpg

Description: nest report




Edited by drakino (31/05/2012 22:42)
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#352448 - 01/06/2012 02:27 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: drakino]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
It's coming to Canada, so I may just pick one sooner or later. Mostly because it looks cool though. wink Even with a flexible scheduling thermostat I tend to keep it set to a constant temp, only making a small adjustment if I have a special requirement.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#352450 - 01/06/2012 10:11 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
It's coming to Canada, so I may just pick one sooner or later. Mostly because it looks cool though. wink Even with a flexible scheduling thermostat I tend to keep it set to a constant temp, only making a small adjustment if I have a special requirement.

I also tend to keep it the same temp while I'm home, but I'd like to start having the system turn off while I'm not around.

I've always wondered, what's the threshold for energy savings? I have to imagine that reheating a place in the winter after you've been out must take more energy than maintaining a constant temp. So I wonder how long you'd have to be out in order to make it worthwhile. Sorry if I wasn't clear...
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#352453 - 01/06/2012 11:22 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Dignan]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4146
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I've always wondered, what's the threshold for energy savings? I have to imagine that reheating a place in the winter after you've been out must take more energy than maintaining a constant temp. So I wonder how long you'd have to be out in order to make it worthwhile.

Didn't we discuss this upthread? I still reckon that, unless you've got a heating system that's more thermodynamically efficient at low outputs (eg heat pump), letting the place cool even briefly is a saving in energy, as the heat loss to the outside air is highest when the temperature difference is highest.

Peter

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#352454 - 01/06/2012 11:35 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Dignan]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I have to imagine that reheating a place in the winter after you've been out must take more energy
OK, one more time. Maybe I can say this better than I did before. Heating or re-heating, what you are doing is replacing the heat lost to the outside. The more heat you lose, the more you have to replace. And, as Peter said, the greater the temperature difference between inside and outside, the more heat you lose.

'Nuff said!

tanstaafl.
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#352466 - 02/06/2012 01:41 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: tanstaafl.]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
I'm sorry, I forgot we discussed this earlier. My bad.
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#353187 - 11/07/2012 20:42 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Dignan]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Ok, I started looking at this again because I find the product amazing looking and full of promise. But the more I read the worse this product starts to look. And it looks great when you first see it. Which is the sum of the problem I have with it.

Looks great, but nothing special.

I can't find information about it being able to do anything at all that other run of the mill thermostats don't already do, and for the most part, have always done. There's a lot of marketing on their site and some BS too saying things like "other thermostats" along with some negative etc...

The thing is, that other plain-ol-thermostats already do a lot of what Nest claims as clever engineering, like running the fan after shutting down the furnace or AC.

Its biggest features seem to be WiFi, though that's just another way to do things manually for the most part, and its learning ability. The thing is, setting up a detailed 7 day schedule (that works) is pretty trivial on any programmable thermostat. For me anyway (probably you too). I know it's not for a lot of the general population.

It really looks like a basic thermostat with wifi, self-programming and a pretty shell. That famous lipstick-clad pig if you will. And while this one also has a pair of roller skates, it still tastes the same. It doesn't seem to have any non-basic features:

It doesn't support HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) systems.

It doesn't support control of (controllable) humidifiers. Or dehumidifiers.

It doesn't support scheduled or random or any fan control not already supported on every other thermostat available today (auto or ON is all it has). This is a HUGE deal when you're dealing with a mode-based thermostat (more below).

It doesn't monitor humidity and temperature outside.

No support for multi-location/zoned remote sensors.

It's primarily MODE-based operation (heat *or* cool) just like every basic thermostat out there.

In modeless operation, what they call "RANGE" (that is where you don't hard-set to cool or heat) you must program everything manually. Doh!


Here's a nice blog post at Nest alluding to the cluelessness: http://www.nest.com/2012/02/22/a-thermostat-just-a-thermostat/

People don't want Nest to interface with Control4 and Crestron so that it can control lights. They only want it to be a thermostat, but they want the rest of their system to be able to talk to it. The existing system will continue to take care of the lights and all the other stuff. Control4 and other automation systems can do things like open and close curtains, blinds, windows as well as turn on and off ceiling (and other) fans. Kind of important to have a thermostat that plays nice with your existing system if you're going shopping right?

Ease of programming is a great feature and shouldn't be overlooked because a lot of people don't know how to use a TV remote, let alone program a thermostat. Simplicity is hardest (but best) when accomplished through design. Simply leaving off core THERMOSTAT competencies however, is deletion, not design. It doesn't take any talent to do it that way.

But damn, it does LOOK amazing.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#353190 - 11/07/2012 21:10 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
It doesn't monitor humidity and temperature outside.

Not directly no. But when it's on WiFi, it pulls this information for the area via the internet.

Many of the other items on the list you already mentioned, and even seemed to discover they had plans to support some of it down the road.

I'm still happy with mine. It does more then the thermostat that was in place when I moved in. The old one had a fancy mercury based switch, connected to a coiled spring that was adjusted with a plastic lever. Oh, and a heat/cool switch along with a separate mercury based thermometer.

Does the Nest do everything? Nope. But like I said when I bought it, I wanted to support the concept as well as the current device. They had to start somewhere, and no product launches on day one with every feature in the world.

I'm not quite sure why you equate not wanting to add a photo display, clock or other features discussed in that blog article as cluelessness. To me, they were making the statement that they subscribe to the ideal of simplicity, something I'm trying to hold myself to as well these days.

Must be that time of the month to bash products? wink
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#353193 - 11/07/2012 21:34 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Its biggest features seem to be WiFi, though that's just another way to do things manually for the most part, and its learning ability. The thing is, setting up a detailed 7 day schedule (that works) is pretty trivial on any programmable thermostat. For me anyway (probably you too). I know it's not for a lot of the general population.

That's enough for me!

I have a touchscreen thermostat with 7-day programming of four daily time periods (night, morning, day, evening). It's very easy to understand how to program the thing, but it's a huge PITA to actually do it. And it even has a battery so you can remove the control unit from the wall while you program it. But the interface is still awful and no fun to use.

I'll be happy to put a Nest in my next home (I don't plan to be in this one long enough to justify it).
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#353194 - 11/07/2012 22:38 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: drakino]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: drakino
I'm not quite sure why you equate not wanting to add a photo display, clock or other features discussed in that blog article as cluelessness.


It's attributing those things to people who have Control4 and Crestron systems that's clueless. Those people most definitely don't want Nest to do any of those things the author mentioned. Those people have automation systems that can already do absolutely everything. If they want a Nest, it's so they can tie it into the system to do what it already does, manage the thermostat duties of the premises, including reporting back to the automation system.

So the guy was either clueless about automation systems and the desires of their customers, or he was being disingenuous.

I brought up Nest because I've been wanting this kind of product for years, but I'm really looking to replace my existing thermostat with something that also has support for a few technologies mine doesn't - the things I mentioned. I have an HRV and humidifier that I have to use other controls for right now. I also run the fan manually to circulate air around the house which helps to keep a stable temperature in every room. It also helps to prevent certain rooms from getting stuffy because they may not see any traffic for extended periods of time.

It's a great basic product, but I feel let down because they're over promising and making it out to be of much bigger significance than it really is. But it's damn damn pretty.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#353196 - 11/07/2012 22:52 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
What percentage of homes even have a home automation system to integrate with? I don't see it as being clueless to ignore perhaps 1% of the market (being generous there) which would add to the development costs. This is a startup product aimed at supporting probably 70-80% of the homes out there to improve their energy usage. Nothing more then that, until they can grow and justify the extra expenses of targeting smaller and smaller market segments.
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#353198 - 11/07/2012 22:58 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: drakino]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
But the guy was fluffing off the concerns of potential customers. I'm sure the percentage asking for the stupid/inane shit he mentioned were super low. Versus the many more who just want some slightly more than basic THERMOSTAT features, such as myself.

Personally, yes, it would be great to allow automation systems to tie into the thermostat, but that's not a stumbling block for me,so it isn't something I mentioned in my list. It's only mentioned in that blog post, out of context by its author, instead of addressing the real concerns of current home HVAC.

So Tom, you're absolutely right, but so am I. wink We're almost a year on with this product, so maybe they'll have new hardware around the corner. The scary thing is that some features, such as fan scheduling or randomizing (co-called "circulation mode" by some brands) can be accomplished as a software feature on the existing platform.

The Nest seems like it's intended to be retrofitted into an older house to replace a thermostat that's 20 or more years old. At least that's how their marketing comes off to me.

My house is far from state of the art in terms of HVAC, and Nest still can't say it's current with the technology I have. There are thousands of homes in my small town alone with the same technologies.


Edited by hybrid8 (11/07/2012 23:00)
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Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#353400 - 20/07/2012 19:30 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Here's a nice "dick move" by Nest: http://www.houselogix.com/dev/nestthermostat.asp

A third-party developed a commercial "driver" module for Control4 whole-home automation systems to talk via IP to Nest Thermostats. Nest asked them to stop developing it and remove it from the market.

I believe (along with many on the C4 forums) that the third-party used the word "ask" very liberally and kindly wrt to Nest's request.


Edited by hybrid8 (20/07/2012 19:32)
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#353405 - 20/07/2012 23:24 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Just starting to look at the Trane ComfortLink II. It finally looks like an iPhone-class Thermostat, compared to the Nest's iPod Shuffle.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#353421 - 21/07/2012 11:16 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
[bait]So the Trane is GSM/CDMA and has a screen?[/bait]

But seriously, what are the differences?

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#353423 - 21/07/2012 13:22 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: Phoenix42]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
In terms of HVAC standards, the Trane supports pretty much everything you can imagine. I just wish it didn't have such a huge screen. You don't need that for a connected device when you plan to primarily connect to it from another device. But if you planned to use it more stand-alone, I suppose the larger screen is a plus.

I'm still in love with Nest's physical design, I just think they didn't include enough in it to justify the price nor the praise - much of it can be addressed in software, but not all of it.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#355066 - 21/09/2012 22:52 Re: Nest Thermostat [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Back to looking at Thermostats (among other things) for some upgrades around the house to be done before the year is out. Since I'm running some wires and will be in the shared wall that currently holds our stat, I'm looking again.

Just saw this on Nest's blog: http://www.nest.com/2012/09/06/the-iphone-controlled-home/

They went to CEDIA. Wow, now isn't that irony. Just in case: CEDIA is the "Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association" - it's THE custom installer and home automation trade show. Nest stats don't work with any other systems.

They make a point of saying they like how a few other companies are also doing app-centric, non-integrated things and then they mention some examples, two of which (Lutron and RTI) most definitely integrate with environmental controls of other companies. For Pete's sake, the RTI screenshot they show in the blog even has an icon for Climate on it.

Why does such sexy hardware always have to be paired with such half-assed software? This is really what's been bugging me with Apple lately too. Software has really been going to shit over the past 6 years.


Edited by hybrid8 (21/09/2012 22:56)
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