German start-up tado is taking a new approach to HVAC heating by putting a users smartphone and Internet-connectivity smarts at the center of the control and monitoring process.
Unlike traditional thermostats the tado device does not have a display (and only a bare minimum of buttons) but instead uses the occupants smartphone and web capabilities to control your home's temperature levels. The service's American smart thermostat counterpart Nest tracks homeowners activity using built-in sensors, Tado on the other hand knows because the occupants have the app installed on their phone. This setup allows tado to quickly turn down the AC or heat when the last person has left the house and can make further adjustments by monitoring the online weather forecast for any upcoming shifts.
The thermostat's Internet connectivity is powered via the Mist system (Open Source, IPv6, Contiki and 6lowpan support) from Thingsquare, and pilot studies have shown successful energy savings of up to 30% using the tado service and it's cloud based approach.
You might be asking yourself the question what happens if I lose my smartphone or leave it at work overnight? The hardware has a manual override button that automatically reverts to preset temperature settings, and alternatively the system can be managed from any computer via the a Web application by logging in with your username and password.
The thermostat is currently only available in Europe (German roll-out first) with an initial hardware cost of €149 (the first 1000 customers will receive the hardware free) followed with an annual €99 subscription fee.
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