Nest thermostat teardown
December 21, 2011 3:14 PM Subscribe
"Who wants to use their thermostat as a 38MB jumpdrive? I do! I do!"
posted by running order squabble fest (47 comments total)
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The Nest learning thermostat
came out of the Bay Area in late October of 2011 in an unprecedented blaze of publicity - well, unprecedented for a thermostat - as a result of its status as the creation of Tony Fadell, one of the non-traditional parenting collective of the iPod*, and Matt Rogers, his senior engineer in the iPhone division. (Previously
Coverage from the tech press included Mashable
, The Verge
. The MSM pitched in, this USA Today
piece being exemplary of the form:
- Why am I reviewing a thermostat? Boring!
- But this is no ordinary thermostat
- It was made by the [non-traditional parent] of the iPod
- It doesn't look like a thermostat - it looks more like an iDevice
- It promises huge energy savings
- Which we have not had time to verify, but
- It's very cool, if a little expensive and
- Here is a terrible pun.
The difference between the Nest and other programmable thermostats, along with its aesthetics, was its ability to monitor presence with motion sensors, and its ability to learn from its owners' behavior, and the behavior of other Nest owners across the world. Yoky Matsuoka, child tennis prodigy, MacArthur fellow and former expert in mind-controlled robot limbs
took up the post of VP of Technology at Nest Labs, responsible for the algorithms that will improve the efficiency of the thermostats in situ
from information sent back from each and aggregated.
But what was inside the Nest, and how does it do what Nest Labs claim it can do? Nathan Siedle, CEO of the hobby-electronics vendor SparkFun
decided to take his newly-arrived $249 Nest thermostat apart before reassembling and installing it.
*At last count there were at least four people referred to as in some way a parent of the iPod.