Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nest Unboxing , my 2nd home automation gadget

Last week i got a WeMo belkin wifi outlet, and of course unboxed it :) It was my first automation gadget. This week it is a Nest from nest labs:

Nest is famous for two things: 

1. being founded by Tony Fadell (a product design hero, and the lead industrial designer behind Apple's original iPod vision). 

2. Making a kick ass product, by revolutionizing a previous dinosaur category found in every home (as expected from Fadell). 

Nest is all about revolutionizing how you approach heating and cooling in your home. It uses a mix of candy sweet product design, machine learning artificial intelligence, and wi-fi connectivity to set itself miles apart from any other home thermostat from honeywell or other incumbents.

The nest, looks like an apple product. My 2 cents is that Nest labs will drive a significant beach head into home automation products (they already have their second product, Nest Protect , a smoke detector) . Then apple will come along and acquire them (if only to get Tony Fadell back into the fold) to enter the home automation gadget market. 

The packaging is first rate:


 









The few cons of the Nest (from the point of view of having it for a few days only)
1. It is a little bit complicated to set up. You will need to be comfortable with screw driver and possibly power tools. You will need to remove your original thermostat, then attach nests mounting to the same spot on the wall , and lastly wire up nest to the previous thermostats wires .

2. You have to figure out which wires to connect to where. This is a bit tricky to sort out, even with nests diagrams of what wires go where.
3. Some older homes (like mine for example) don't have a properly wired set up for controlling the fan. So nest can't turn the central fan on and off on its own (which significantly handicaps nest) . To solve this you may need to call an AC / Heating repair specialist and they may need to rewire your setup. 

In the end we were able to wire it up. So if you have a couple of guys who are sharp at setting up things, you should be able to handle it .  Once its set up the Nest needs Wi-Fi access .

Once your nest is online, it can sync with the remote iOS or Android app. It can update its firmware. It can talk to the nest cloud it case it needs to offload some kind of processing.
One other really interesting part of the Nest user experience is its ability to sense a person, as someone approaches the nest and reaches for it. Nest automatically wakes up and turns on its screen. This significantly contributes to making the gadget feel "smart".

All in all this is a revolution in home automation gadgets, and especially in home heating appliances :)
Imagine if all of our home appliances were as connected, remote controllable, and easily update-able ?

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