The NEST Thermostat

The Nest thermostat has been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere over the past week or so. I don’t know where it first started, but the best place to get a really nice overview of what is being called a “learning thermostat”, as opposed to a programmed or manual thermostat, is the TechCrunch video interview with its CEO Tony Fadell.

Fadell, it turns out, is a former Apple employee and Dan Frommer argues that the Nest thermostat is the first of many products that will be “Apple-ified” from conception. That is, following in the wake of the iMac and with every Apple product since, there have been a host of knockoffs, copycats, and design clones. The Nest thermostat is different in that it actually has as part of its design DNA the same set of ideals and perspectives that inform Apple design, which is arguably simply good industrial design in the first place. (I have always thought that what Apple did was simply pursue the European modernist aesthetic in a way that Americans could follow, but I will leave that discussion for another time.)

Frommer’s visual is fantastic. I am reproducing it here in order to encourage folks to visit Frommer’s site. He’s smart.