I think that everyone will agree that Apple’s introduction of the iPod not only changed the personal music industry, but led to a revolution in the consumer electronics industry as a whole. The iPod did not take advantage of any particular groundbreaking technological advances, but rather created a product which stood out from the competition on virtue of it’s sleek, intuitive design and interface. Now, several companies are applying Apple’s design principles towards creating the next generation of home appliances, and in this case, the thermostat.
Nest is a company which was recently brought to my attention by a colleague of mine whose brother was one of the first twenty employees, and since then word of the company has been persistently entering my news feed. Nest, founded by former Apple employees, offers a “smart” thermometer which it says can save users $173 per year in electricity/heating costs, which will quickly pay for itself given its $250 price tag.
This inspiring article in the MIT Technology Review does an excellent job summarizing how the team reinvented the thermostat, and makes us wonder how we can improve our lives through re-imagining how devices we take for granted can change the way we live.