Uh-oh, here is the start of AI and robots taking over the world. Well, we’re totally not there yet but Google’s 3rd-Generation Nest Learning Thermostat may give a glimpse of what’s to come.
Let’s quickly get to the aspect that will likely put a frown on your face, and that is the price tag. At $250, it’s obviously not a cheaper option when it comes to thermostats in general. You might ask, “What? I’m forking over north of $200 to just turn my temp up and down?”
Sure, there is some truth to that, but over time, it will probably save you a lot of cash on energy bills. Here’s how: After days or weeks of use, the thermostat will eventually know your temperature preference at certain times throughout the day and night. And, although some might find it a bit creepy, it will know when you’re not at home by relying on built-in sensors and algorithmic smarts to track your whereabouts, and will adjust the temperature accordingly – saving you money. Of course, any auto-generated temp setting can be overridden manually, but most users have found that you don’t have to micromanage it at all.
Nest’s thermostat, which boasts a larger screen and slimmer profile for this particular iteration, is really a beauty to look at. The circular designs and internals indeed got a boost with its larger LCD, Bluetooth support and it even now possesses geofencing technology.
What’s really great about this product is the many options that you have in controlling the thermostat. You really don’t ever have to use the actual thermostat at all, as you can adjust the necessary settings on the app/laptop or via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Unfortunately, it isn’t yet compatible with Apple HomeKit.
Moreover, in its effort to discern the most comfortable temperature for your home, this thermostat also works with Nest's temperature sensor, which only made its debut in 2018. Available for a reasonable $40 each, the sensor is usually placed in a bedroom, den or the basement – basically any area that could be particularly hot or cold. With the thermostat now having access to this data, it can use that as the default temperature reading for your home, instead of only using the thermostat’s built-in temperature sensor.
So, is it worth it? Yes, the price is a bit on the higher end, but if you know that you’ll be living in that home for the next five to 10 years, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll recover the money spent in energy savings alone. With that in mind, why not give it a shot?
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.