The company is making the gateway to entry a little more accessible with its latest smart home device, the Nest Thermostat E. Available for $169, the Thermostat E sports a new design and does just about everything the Learning Thermostat can do, but has fewer controls on the device itself.
The Nest Thermostat E also differs from the first thermostat in design, as the former does not have the big, bright screen the new model has.
The Nest Thermostat E is meant to be a more subtle presence in homes. The motion-sensing tech-which the thermostat uses to detect if someone is home-has been integrated into a new "Nest pill" located on the front of the thermostat. It wants this to be a thermostat that you buy and forget about, but still get all the benefits that come with having some built-in intelligence. Nest claims that its thermostats save homeowners between 12 percent and 15 percent on their heating and cooling bills on average each year, which is really the feature it's going to try to sell new customers on.
As for the look of the E model, it has the same form factor as the original-but a radically different aesthetic. When it's on, it displays soft text and images that are created to be easy to see and read with a slight glow.
Unlike the main Nest Learning Thermostat, that costs a potentially prohibitive £279, the new Nest Thermostat E will only sting you for $169 (£130). But there's still an option to have it learn your schedule if you prefer. On Thursday, however, Nest is unveiling a brand new smart thermostat that doesn't aim to be the best. Gone is the high-resolution screen, replaced with a lower-resolution one behind a polarized display that lets the display shine through, but blocks light from coming into the thermostat. The frosted display uses a special technology that lets light out but doesn't let it in, so when it's off, it just appears gray.
Also, Nest notes that over half of USA households may be eligible for a rebate from one its energy partners, helping Nest E pay for itself even more quickly.
The Thermostat E rolls out on September 1.
That note about the Thermostat E blending into any environment is an interesting one, and it speaks to the market Nest is addressing with this new product. And in addition to app control on your phone, laptop, or smartwatch, the thermostat supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Former Nest CEO Tony Fadell left the company a year ago and Ars Technica detailed other troubles at the time in the company.