The Nest Thermostat's Improved Features

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By Diana Budds / Published by Dwell
In the realm of home automation, Nest Labs has been leading the way for new products. For the version 4.3 software update for its popular Learning Thermostat, the Palo Alto-based company has developed new features to improve functionality and increase energy savings.

With the update—that will automatically be added to every thermostat—communicating information is one of the biggest improvements. You'll be able to see the outside temperature, weather conditions, and time of day on ther display. The thermostat will also have a quick-view report of how much energy your system consumed the day prior and what the heating and cooling schedule will look like that day. An enhanced auto-schedule feature will reportedly save an average of six percent on annual energy consumption by improving the learning aspect of the technology. Nest has also incorporated a system test feature you can access diagnostics about how everything is working and troubleshoot any problems. A full report on the 4.3 software update can be found here.

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A few years ago, the smart thermostat market was a desert, with few companies in the marketplace. Today, a slew of inventors and manufacturers are fiercely competing to create the product that controls heating and cooling at home. This summer, Honeywell introduced the Lyric, which factors indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather into its algorithm. One wonders if Nest is responding to those features to narrow the playing field.

For more home technology coverage on dwell.com, read our story on the Essential Products for a Greener Home, roundup of the Best Modern Speakers, and Tools to Master Your Chores.