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).