Oct 27, 2011 5:59 PM

Former Apple Employee Invents High-Tech Thermostat

A former Apple employee has started a company that makes high tech thermostats. He took some of what he learned at Apple and applied it to his new product.

Matt Rogers used to design iPods and iPads, then he left Apple to design a thermostat. "In the grill, we actually have a sensor that detects motion, so as you walk around the house it notices when you are home," said Rogers, who founded the company Nest Labs. "Our goal was to take the culmination of all we've done in the past, iPods, iPhones, and other devices, and build the best consumer experience possible for the thermostat."

Nest Labs calls it The Learning Thermostat, as in it learns about you and your house to lower your energy bill. "It learns from you," said Rogers. "So, you turn it down when you leave and then it will remember, oh, you leave at 8 a.m. everyday. It's really that simple."

It's simple because, like Apple, there's a lot of technology inside you don't have to worry about. That technology was designed inside a company that's quietly grown to a hundred people with lots of jobs still open. Think of it as a green tech product that wants to go from this to an object of desire.

"Thermostats today are essentially white plastic boxes on the wall that haven't been innovated in 20 years," said Rogers. "Consumers are used to amazing experiences like the iPhone and the iPod, and we wanted to bring that to the thermostat."

The Nest Thermostat costs $250, about what the company claims you'll save on your energy bill in a year if you use it. And yes, there's even an app to control it remotely. It may not seem as sexy as the iPod at first glance, but it is thinking different and saving money is always in style.

To pre-order the Nest Thermostat, you can visit the company's website at


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