Heating and cooling are two of the largest expenses in my hundred-year-old New England home. It should come as no surprise then that I’m a huge fan of the Nest learning thermostat. Connected home technology makes my home more comfortable at a lower cost – what’s not to like?
As it turns out, the Nest is about to have some serious competition on its hands. Today, Honeywell unveiled its new Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control. It has features almost identical to the popular Nest, but with the power of voice activation.
With the new Honeywell device, changing the temperature in your house is as easy as asking the thermostat to change it. You activate the voice controls by saying “hello thermostat,” then tell it in plain English what you want it to do. Say “make it warmer,” for example, and the thermostat will raise the temperature by one degree. The Honeywell Smart Thermostat understands more complicated commands too, like “make it 5 degrees cooler” or “set the temperature to 72 degrees.”
The thermostat uses your home’s WiFi connection to help it interpret spoken requests and learn from them. Of course, that means the voice features can’t be used when your WiFi and Internet are down. Still, you can always change the temperature manually, regardless of connectivity.
Beyond these voice features, the Honeywell Smart Thermostat lets you easily change the background color of the device, so it matches your décor. You can also pair your thermostat with your smartphone, letting you control your home’s climate from as far away as the Indonesian jungle.
The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control will go on sale in November 2013 at most major home improvement stores. Its suggested retail price is $349.99, though rebates from your utility provider may be available. To learn more about the device, visit wifithermostat.com.