Nest is launching a new thermostat almost six years after introducing the first one. Dubbed the Thermostat E, the new piece is similar to its predecessor, but it comes with a lower price tag.
How the Nest Thermostat E is different
The Nest Thermostat E also differs from the first thermostat in design, as the former does not have the big, bright screen the new model has. Rather, the new device is in line with other duller thermostats, notes The Verge. The screen now shows only basics such as temperature rather than doubling as a clock.
Despite some basic changes in the design, the Nest Thermostat E is pretty. The display glass has a matte film on the inside, making it different from a computer screen. Nest’s head designer, Sung Bai, feels the new display is “like watercolor.” Once the display is off, the thermostat looks just like a white dot on the wall, notes Gizmodo.
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Other than the new design and color, the Nest Thermostat E also has a pre-configured schedule which will save energy so that the user does not need to create custom settings.
Although the thermostat does possess some learning capabilities, the company has dropped the “learning” part of the name. Like the old one, the newer thermostat is also capable of learning the user’s temperature pattern preferences over time, and it adjusts to heating and cooling without the customer actually needing to touch it, notes TechCrunch.
Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product marketing, says that they decided to drop the word “learning” from the name because many potential customers found its inclusion to be too intimidating. Additionally, the design was way too masculine for some, and therefore, the company decided to scale that down a bit.
“We needed to design a new thermostat that was more approachable and simpler — to look at, to install, to use — but saves the same amount of energy and is more affordable,” Veron said.
For the masses
The new Nest Thermostat E is available for $170. The reduced price suggests that the new thermostat is for the masses. The reduced price comes with some cuts in the wiring connections, which means it will not have as wide of a range of compatibility as the first thermostat had.
“E is for everyone, it’s for everywhere,” Veron said. “It’s for Earth.”
Tom Kerber of the research and consulting firm Parks Associates said a cheaper thermostat could bring in more takers. In a survey last year, his firm found that only 11% of American households with broadband Internet have a smart thermostat, and just 18% of households are willing to shell out $250 for a thermostat, notes the San Francisco Chronicle. The lower-priced E is “going to essentially double the market for those products,” Kerber said.
Nest will start taking orders for the new Thermostat E starting today. Shipments will start September 1, and it will be available at retail stores starting around September 10.
According to Nest, it helps saves 12 to 15% on customers’ heating bills, and so far has saved 14 billion kWh of energy. Nest was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, the two Apple veterans. Out of the two, Fadell left the company last year.