It’s not new that Google has acquired Nest for $3.2 billion – in cash. This is great news for the Nest team, but what does the acquisition mean for consumers? Will Google dare to help itself to all of Nest’s power consumption data?
Nest is obviously aware of the privacy concerns and hopes that this will be enough to reassure its customers that nothing will change with its products, and that all consumer data will remain private. Although it has been acquired, Nest will operate independently – for now. But, as it is only too well known, Google has a knack for abolishing companies it acquires once it finds a way to incorporate their technologies into its own products and services. It also has a habit of rewriting its privacy policies from time to time so it can make better use of the data collected – and for these reasons, it’s hard to believe that Google will be able to resist digging into Nest’s valuable data at some point.
Just in case Google decides to obliterate Nest or suck up all of its data, here are some other smart thermostats to be considered (although none of them looks quite as sexy as what Nest offers).
Three Nest alternatives
The ecobee Smart Thermostat comes with its own web portal and mobile app, so owners can easily monitor and control their home appliances even when out of the country. The web portal features Home IQ and DataRhythm technology which allows users to see their energy consumption and become more efficient and cost-effective. Appliance performance is also monitored and alerts are activated if anything needs servicing. The DataRhythm technology learns user preferences over time to eventually automate cooling and heating decisions.
The ecobee device also features weather updates so owners know whether they need an umbrella, a coat, snow boots, or whatever the weather calls for before they even step outside. The ecobee Smart Thermostat may look bland to some, but the company’s GelaSkins can spice things up. These covers not only protect the ecobee Smart Thermostat, they also make it more aesthetically pleasing. The ecobee Smart Thermostat costs $469 and will likely required professional installation.
The 3M Filtrete WiFi Remote Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat comes with a WiFi module which allows it to be controlled using Internet-connected devices such as smartphones, tablets or computers. It also has a filter indicator which reminds users to change the filter – one of the most commonly forgotten tasks.
Available on Amazon for only $129.99.
The CyberStat CY1101 – Wireless Internet Connected Programmable Thermostat costs only $79.99 on Amazon, making it appealing despite its simplistic design. Temperature can be adjusted remotely using a smartphone or any other Internet connected device, making it possible to turn the AC or heat on or off without being home.
The biggest downside to the CyberStat is that initial setup requires an iPad, iPhone, iPod-touch, Macbook or a Linux laptop. However, once set up, any platform including Android and Windows-based devices can be used to control it.