Nest Heads Downmarket This Fall

With 1200 employees, as reported last summer, you’d expect a far more expansive product line from Nest – the company that took the smart thermostat mainstream, prior the their Google acquisition in 2014. And they’re about the expand their appeal and market by heading downmarket this fall. As revealed by Evan Blass, what looks to be a more simplistic and less refined thermostat is on the docket. Based the imagery alone and some informed guesswork, I’m expecting more limited compatibility while the bulk of t-stat control will reside solely within mobile apps. Beyond the Nest Lite, a trusted industry source indicates the company is also working on a revised indoor camera and hopeful of hitting a $100 price point this fall, perhaps bolstered by an ADT partnership and monitoring upsell.

As for me, I left a second gen Nest and ecobee3 behind when we sold our home a few months back and had been quite content with simple programmable thermostats at the new place … until the upstairs HVAC imploded and we were offered a promotional Nest 3 or ecobee4 upon replacement. While Nest features a more premium look, ecobee provides a more practical solution with room sensors and the ability to lock a temperature. Plus the integrated Alexa of the ecobee4 was a draw. So that’s, of course, what we went with. We haven’t really put Alexa to use, not intentionally anyway – and accidentally summoning her on occasion is how we discovered the audio is surprisingly decent and Amazon’s wake word can’t be changed (yet).

12 thoughts on “Nest Heads Downmarket This Fall”

  1. Incidentally the new Lowe’s Iris update just hit and it supports Nest, finally. So while I’m happy with my current smart thermostat, if I were to get Nest, I’d have temperature control by way of Alexa through the Iris integration.

  2. Scott Lewis, I’m not familiar with Iris or your specific implementation, but Nest works with Alexa already, via the Nest skill. Not sure if you meant just adding a profile that would do multiple other things, including work Nest via a single voice command…

  3. Not owning a Nest already I didn’t know it supported Alexa. The article said “Plus the integrated Alexa of the ecobee4 was a draw.” so I assumed that meant the Nest didn’t. My bad.

    The Iris skill does allow for controlling temperature, and lights (individual or by grouping), but for sure the Iris system and it’s app does a lot more that the skill can’t. For example, every night I set the alarm to partial, turn off all lights, and adjust the thermostat because it’s midnight. I also control my sprinklers through this system, and when the last keychain leaves the house, it raises the temperature and turns off the lights. Reverse when the first keychain goes home. Hopefully the Alexa skill matures.

  4. Sorry for the confusion. The point I was trying to make is that ecobee has Alexa built-in — the thermostat is also a fair field mic and speaker. So I can ask ecobee the time or to play some music (or, obviously, to change the temp).

  5. Ahh, gotcha. That’s actually pretty nifty, and I may look into it. My thermostat is in a hallway upstairs, so I frequently go up there at night, and immediately want to say “Alexa, turn off the downstairs lights.” We have an Echo Dot in three rooms up there, but you certainly have to raise your voice a bit from the hallway.

  6. I’m not sure who would want to put something that damn ugly on their wall. The look almost defeats the purpose of what Nest was trying to accomplish – replacing that ugly thing box on the wall for something with sex appeal.

  7. This has been officially announced as the Nest E, and is $169. As mentioned, it is seemingly controlled exclusively by the app. It even uses geofencing with your phone to set it to away mode, so probably no internal motion sensors. The existing units have this option as well, but in addition to, not in lieu of, the sensors.

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