Tony Fadell, the man who designed the iPod, is now turning his talents to a much less sexy market: Thermostats.It’s a pretty odd transition from one of the most beloved consumer products of the last decade to something most people take for granted, but Fadell thinks he can make the thermostat a sexy consumer product, writes Steven Levy at Wired who got an early look at the product.
Fadell’s thermostat company is called Nest and its backed by Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Insight Ventures, and a few others. Levy says it’s raised $50 million in funding.
What makes Nest worth all that money?
Well, it’s supposed to be an intelligent home heating/cool management system. When you’re in the living room Nest will make the temperature, say, 70 degrees in the winter. Then when you go to bed at night it will drop the temperature to 50 degrees to save you money on a heating bill. In the morning when you’re going back into the living room the temperature will rise again.
It sounds nice, but Fadell and company have an uphill climb to get people on board.
The Nest thermostat costs $250, which is 5X the price of a normal thermostat. Nest says it pays for itself by adjusting temperatures.
A bigger problem than the cost of the Nest is that people have to install it themselves. That’s not going to be easy even though Nest is providing YouTube videos with instructions. Alternately, you could have Best Buys Geek Squad install the Nest for $119 for the first thermostat and $25 each additional unit.
Here’s a video of the Nest: