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The Thing: a thermostat that’s just plain cool

The Thing: a thermostat that's just plain cool

(Image: Shanghoon)

The new Nest thermostat is brilliant, in a HAL from 2001 kind of way. Not only does it adhere to commands sent from your smart phone, it also learns your patterns and adjusts to your schedule in real time, as you use it, no programming required. It knows when you usually get up, when you go to work, when you come home, when you go to bed. It can give you digital readouts of energy usage and automatically adjust to make you both comfortable and economically ­efficient. There’s good reason this thermostat—a normally boring appliance if ever there was one—is so cool. It was developed by Tony Fadell, the man who oversaw the iPod and iPhone divisions at Apple. A few years ago he jumped ship to tackle home temperature control, and amassed a ­Silicon Valley dream team of designers and thinkers who defected from Apple, Google and other tech industry powerhouses to help him do it. The results are nothing short of revolutionary. The only thing it doesn’t do is play music. Yet. $250.