The battle to control how people heat and cool their homes is heating up in a way that is reminiscent of the fight over which company gets to lord over the home’s media and entertainment systems.
Honeywell recently launched a fancy $249 Wi-Fi thermostat and an online energy savings calculator that aim to re-invent the company’s long-standing product line, and compete with younger, nimble upstarts like Nest and Radio Thermostat Company of America. Some of these startups are moving aggressively — despite only launching the learning thermostat in 2011, Nest has gotten it into big retail chains such as Lowe’s and Apple’s online store.
But temperature control isn’t what makes the technology development of these so-called smart thermostats interesting to watch. With more built-in sensors, software and wireless communications, these devices could become the brains of home energy networks, which will include not only the heating and cooling systems…
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