Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Internet of Things

This week's Economist, in addition to leading with an article about how technology will allow us to optimize efficiency by renting everything (cars, dogs, tools, etc), has a piece about the Internet of things. The story is about the Nest, a thermostat that tries to do for climate control what the Ipod did for music.

Um, right. But I bought one anyway a few months ago. It was easy to install and connect to our wireless network, and I can program it with my phone or Ipad anywhere I am. We've settled on 65 degrees as our daytime temperature and 50 at night, and so far that has been comfortable, aside from a couple of colder days, where someone has needed a little more warmth.

The, ahem, coolest thing about the device is that every month we get a report on how "green" we are. A lot of recent research shows that information like this (what, we use 28% more electricity than our neighbors? 78% of guests use their sheets for a second night.) is a very good way to spur desired behavior.

Our report for an unseasonably cold February, shows that we used more energy than last month, but that, compared to our peers, we're still doing well:

A look at your Leafs:

You get a Leaf when you choose an energy-efficient temperature. And now, see your Leafs add up all year long. This month, the Nest average is 15 Leafs. Here’s how many you earned:
In February
you earned:
That’s a Leaf every day!
In February
you’re in the top:
of Nesters
This year
you've earned:
Nest Leafs

Let me bask in the warm glow of righteous behaviour for a moment, and then think about what other products I can buy to make us more efficient.

1 comment:

  1. I was in the market for a wi-fi enable thermostat about 5 years ago, and was both amazed and annoyed that they didn't yet exist. Glad to see that this market segment seems to be catching up.