IoT-darling ‘Nest’ invades the UK for smarter homes

If there’s a success story most used to display the potential of the “Internet of Things” (a concept in which every device is connected to the internet) then it’s the recently Google-acquired ‘Nest’.

Nest has taken the U.S by storm with its innovative “Smart Thermostat” designed by the same great mind behind the iPod – Matt Rogers. The futuristic thermostat takes the boring chore of central heating and makes it, frankly, awesome…

Nest’s mantra is: “We take the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things.”

The innovative startup is hitting the UK for the first time, which is great news for the UK citizens who have looked at their dial thermostats in disgust since seeing the beautiful, playful “orb” which looks like something Tony Stark (‘Iron Man’ for non-geeks) would use whilst settling in with a cuppa’ after a long-day of saving the world.

Ok, so we may not be battling super beings, but many of us conquer piles of paperwork each and every day. The last thing we want to do is think about what our central heating is doing… Is it on? Is it off? When should I put it on? Is it wasting energy?

Nest uses sensors to “learn” when you’re likely to be home and based on an automated schedule will heat your abode accordingly. It also learns how long your home takes to heat-up so it can be accurate in getting to temperatures at a set time.

Beyond this, it can tell using sensors when there’s no-one home and switch-off when you’ve popped out for a while, or been called away for a few days. To ensure your pipes don’t end up freezing and causing damage - Nest will ensure a very low temperature is maintained during this period.

The entire system can be controlled using your smartphone – so even if you have to stay in the office for an extra few hours you can make sure the heating doesn’t switch on and send your bills up unnecessarily. Alternatively, if you’re heading home, switch it on so it’s ready to embrace you with warmth when you step-in.

Energy reports show you how much energy you are saving. The “Nest Leaf” will appear when you’re saving energy – and the company claims that turning the temperature down just 1° can cut your energy bills by 10%.

“With the U.K. Office of Gas and Electricity Markets saying that U.K. residents spend on average about £1,342 per year on electricity, and heating making up over 60 percent of U.K energy bills, it’s the perfect time to bring the Nest Learning Thermostat to the U.K.” said Lionel Paillet, general manager for Europe, Nest.

He continues: “Nest Learning Thermostat customers in the U.S. experience savings of approximately 20 percent on average off their heating and cooling bill and we’re looking forward to helping customers in the U.K. save as well.”

In the UK, Nest is partnering with energy supplier ‘npower’. This is in direct competition with British Gas’ Hive smart thermostat.

Nest is recommending, in an opposite stance to their U.S-based customers, that buyers opt to have the system professionally installed as it comes with an additional box dubbed as ‘Heat Link’ which acts as the “programmer” on UK boiler systems.

Installation is chucked-in free until April 8th when buying the £179 thermostat. After this offer is over the system will cost £249 with professional installation.

What do you think about the smart thermostat? Let us know in the comments.

To learn more about the Internet of Things visit IoT Tech Expo Europe in London's Olympia, 2-3 December, 2015. 

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