Technology has already upgraded the most fun elements of our lives: mobile phones, gaming devices—even our cars. And now tech companies (and traditional companies trying to defend their turf) are beginning to turn our mundane “dumb” items—like thermostats and refrigerators—into “smart” Internet-connected powerhouses.
But there’s more to it than that. Only a relatively small group of tech-obsessed hipsters and early adopters would buy a smart thermostat “just because” it looked cooler and connected to their phones. For mass market appeal, smart thermostats need to actually improve a person’s situation—and so they do. Smart thermostats—led by early pioneer Nest (now owned by Google)—can help lower your energy bills. Some, automatically.
While the Nest is definitely the most well-known of the smart thermostats, you might be surprised to find some solid, innovative competition waiting in the wings.
The ecobee3 sets itself apart from the pack in a few ways. The biggest bonus are the remote sensors. Other thermostats listed here—though smart—aren’t this smart; they only read the temperature in 1 room. With ecobee3’s remote sensors, the system can tell which rooms are occupied and can tell when someone is home or away. The ecobee3 also has an Apple Watch app and a very sleek, non-circular (i.e. non-Nest) design that is minimal and beautiful all at once.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is the original WiFi thermostat ...