Tado Smart Climate Assistant leverages HomeKit for UK, EU thermostats, Smart AC controller left behind

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Home automation company has launched the Smart Climate Assistant utilizing HomeKit for controlling its thermostats and smart radiator valves for its customers mostly in the EU and UK– but the HomeKit support promised for the Intelligent AC Control by the same company will likely never surface.
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Honeywell adds Google Home integration for smart thermostats

Honeywell adds Google Home integration for smart thermostats

Honeywell Home and Building Technologies, a subsidiary of industrial automation company Honeywell, has announced a new integration with Google Home for its connected home products.

The integration will give consumers using the Honeywell Lyric or Total Connect Comfort thermostats the ability to adjust their home’s temperature using voice control, a feature already offered on other smart thermostats such as Hive and Nest via the Amazon Echo.

The addition of Google Home is a natural progression in Honeywell’s Works With Honeywell program, however, which aims to ensure the interoperability of Honeywell smart home products with popular consumer technologies, allowing consumers the opportunity to personalize their homes with their products of choice. The company already boasts integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT among others.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat (PRNewsFoto/Honeywell)

Read more: Cyber amateurs protect smart home from real-time invasion

As well as the introduction of Google Home voice control, Honeywell says that consumers will be able to control their Honeywell thermostats with Google Assistant on Google/Android devices, using a number of different commands. If a home has multiple heating or cooling zones, for example, it will be possible to control them independently by informing Google Home which thermostat corresponds to a specific zone. Consumers could also continue to adjust the temperature, set up schedules or make other changes with Honeywell’s Lyric or Total Connect Comfort app, and directly on the thermostat interface.

The Honeywell Lyric app, for the new Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat (PRNewsFoto/Honeywell)

“Honeywell technology is already found in more than 150 million homes worldwide,” said Scott Harkins, vice president, IoT partner programs, Honeywell Connected Home. “Now with our Google Home integration, we’re thrilled to have the first thermostats integrated with every major smart hub. It is another way we are helping consumers more easily bring smart technology into their homes and lives, regardless of how they want to get started, their home’s unique needs or which smart hub they have.”

Read more: Apple joins race for smart home supremacy with HomePod

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Honeywell smart thermostats now support Google Assistant

Google’s own Nest smart thermostat supported Assistant commands very early on, but Honeywell makes a lot of similar products that were not supported. That changes today with the announcement that Honeywell’s Lyric and Total Connect Comfort thermostats will work with Assistant. There’s a bit of setup required, but it’s fast.

Honeywell thermostat control is a native Assistant function, so you don’t need to preface your commands with “Talk to Honeywell” or anything like that.

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Honeywell smart thermostats now support Google Assistant was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Smart thermostats gain traction in Europe and North America

Smart thermostats gain traction North America Europe

The number of North American and European homes with smart thermostats grew by 67 percent to 10.1 million in 2016, according to a new report from research company Berg Insight.

The rate of growth was fastest in Europe, where the total number grew by 77 percent year-on-year to reach 2.3 million. In North America, the growth was slower at 64 percent, but the installed base was larger at 7.8 million homes.

Analysts at Berg Insight forecast the number of smart thermostat-owning households to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent over the next five years, to reach 78.1 million in 2021. North America will remain the largest market, with 43.4 million homes having smart thermostats, compared to 34.7 million in Europe.

Read more: Powervault to give electric car batteries a second life in smart homes

Attractive opportunity

“Smart thermostats is a particularly attractive opportunity in the smart home market, as these systems are of great interest for consumers, energy companies and HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] service providers,” said Anders Frick, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight.

Consumers are embracing smart thermostats primarily due to the potential for energy savings, increased comfort and convenience. For energy companies, they open up new possibilities to introduce consumer-friendly demand response and energy efficiency programmes. These programmes can enable significant capital savings, according to Berg Insight, as lower peak load can reduce expenditures on reserve power generation and the need to purchase energy on the spot market.

“Adding intelligence to residential heating and cooling systems furthermore opens up new opportunities for HVAC service providers. Predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics can allow repair and maintenance activities to be streamlined and done more efficiently,” added Frick.

Read more: Bullguard CEO: “A safer smart home shouldn’t be complicated.”

Market leaders

The North American smart thermostat market is led by Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee, joined by vendors such as Radio Thermostat Company of America and RCS, which have gained traction especially in the whole-home system channel through partners such as ADT, Vivint and Alarm.com. Additional participants in the North American market include Emerson, Lennox, Trane and Venstar.

In Europe, leading smart thermostat vendors include the European based eQ-3 and Centrica, as well as the North American vendors Nest and Honeywell.

EQ-3’s smartphone-controlled radiator thermostats have been installed in more than 0.35 million homes. At the end of 2016, the Centrica-owned utility British Gas had 0.55 million smart thermostat users in the UK. Centrica also had around 0.40 million smart thermostat users in North America through its Direct Energy operations.

Other contenders on the European smart thermostat market include Climote, Danfoss, Heatapp, Heat Genius, Netatmo, Ngenic, RWE and Tado.

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Best smart thermostats – transforming heating and cooling for the better

smart thermostat

In an effort to make our homes truly smart, companies have been working on transforming multiple aspects of our everyday life into connected objects. Though we now have smart lights, smart home assistants, and even smart coffee makers, one of the first connected units to hit the market was the connected thermostat. Now that these smart thermostats have been on the market for quite a while, a number of companies have make their own versions that have their own unique appeal.

So which are the best? Let’s find out.

Nest Learning Thermostat

smart thermostat

When people think about smart thermostats, Nest is often the first option that comes to mind. The first generation of the system was released way back in October of 2011, and was one of the catalysts that started the smart home revolution that would eventually become it’s own industry. Nest was acquired by Google is 2014, but still retains it’s own company direction under Alphabet Inc. The company is currently on the third iteration of the product which was released back in 2015, but all consumer versions of Nest continue to be compatible with the latest firmware.

The Nest Learning Thermostat can be installed where any other thermostat was previously wired, and has a large screen to show you the current temperature, heating/cooling modes, and other statistics. There is a dial surrounding the round thermostat which lets you adjust the temperature on the fly, and you can also control the climate of your house with the integrated app. In addition, Nest works with Amazon Echo and Google Home, so you can use your voice to change the temperature of your house whenever you like.

Nest learns over time. If you start setting the house to warmer in the evenings and cooler during the day, it will build a schedule around this lifestyle. Eventually, you shouldn’t have to adjust anything at all, since Nest will know just what you like and when you like it. Nest can also use your phone’s location data to sense when you’re away, and will save energy while you’re not using your house.

Though a lot of products try to mirror Nest in terms of functionality, they really are the original smart thermostat. You can pick up the latest Nest Learning Thermostat on Amazon for $ 245.99.

Ecobee4 Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat

smart thermostat

The Ecobee4 Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat is one of the main competitors to Nest, and is aiming to do perform the same core function with some added smarts. The Ecobee4 can connect to your phone just like the Nest, and allows you to set the temperature from anywhere at any time. Ecobee4 can use room sensors to detect the areas of your house that need the most help, and will intelligently alter the climate to make sure you’re comfortable.

The room sensors that work with Ecobee4 can detect specific aspects of the individual rooms you place them in, and can tell the thermostat to supply hot or cold air to these rooms in particular in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. The Ecobee4 can also send you monthly reports on your energy usage and savings, so you can see firsthand how much more energy efficient your home is with the unit.

The Ecobee4 works with Amazon Echo, Apple Homekit, IFTTT, Samsung Smart Things, and more, so you’ll always have a convenient place to manipulate your home’s climate. Whether it’s with your voice, through an app, or an IFTTT module, the Ecobee4 can keep your home comfortable for years to come. Updated from the previous Ecobee3, the Ecobee4 actually has Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant built in, which means it can do any of the things that the Amazon Echo can do. Whether it’s setting timers, playing music, or even helping you with your cooking, your thermostat can now do it all.

Check out the Ecobee4 on Amazon now for $ 249.

Honeywell Lyric Round

smart thermostat

The Honeywell Lyric Round is very similar to the Nest learning thermostat in that it works as a round dial with a circular screen for data monitoring. The location-based temperature control monitors where you are in comparison to your home, and will wake the thermostat when you are nearby. It can also detect the humidity of your home, and will work to regulate it to a comfortable state. The thermostat can determine if it needs to heat or cool your home based on your unique temperature settings, so you will always have a comfortable feeling home.

Since this thermostat can also regulate humidity, it includes a “Feels like” setting which will make sure the temperature you get feels like the temperature you want. After using the thermostat over a bit of time, the Lyric Round will start detecting when you want your house to be certain temperatures, and can learn when to heat or cool your house.

The Lyric Round works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, IFTTT, and Samsung Smart things, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this thermostat not being “smart enough” for your needs. You can control the temperature and humidity with your voice, or adjust the settings easily with the manual dial on the unit. You can also enable push notifications to alert you when you need new filters for your heating and air conditioning units, or when there are extreme temperatures in your house that could be making your family or pets uncomfortable.

You can buy the Honeywell Lyric Round on Amazon for $ 169.95.

Neatatmo Smart Thermostat

smart thermostat

If you’re not in the US and looking for something a little more eccentric, the Neatatmo Smart Thermostat might be for you. The unit features a very boxy design which stands alone without being mounted on your wall, and features a number of different colors that can be selected to fit your home’s unique style. The Neatatmo doesn’t use a bunch of buttons, but rather relies on mobile app in order to change and monitor your cooling and heating usage. You can use their standalone monitoring website to see how much energy you’ve saved over time, and set schedules to keep you home set to your unique settings.

Because the Neatatmo is connected to Wi-Fi, you’re able to control it from anywhere in the world. You can also control it using multiple smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit, so your voice can be your remote if you prefer to use that. The company says that by intelligently regulating the temperature to use less energy while you are out and asleep, the Neatatmo can save you up to 37% on your energy costs every year. Since the thermostat is battery powered, you can house it in any room you like, or keep it on your wall if you prefer to have it mounted there. The boxy design lets it be placed nearly anywhere, so you’re able to take it around your house so you always know what temperature your home is without having to open your phone.

The Neatatmo is not currently available in the US, but the company says that it’s hoping to bring it to this market soon. It is most widely available in the UK, but you should be able to get one and use it in most European countries. Having the ability to use your thermostat as a piece of decor is pretty interesting, and we love that you can bring it around with you anywhere you like.

If you’re based in the UK, you can get the Neatatmo Smart thermostat for £86.62 today.

Schneider Electric Wiser Air Thermostat

smart thermostat

The Schneider Electric Wiser Air Thermostat isn’t quite as good looking as other options on the market, but it includes a variety of features that you’ll find difficult to get anywhere else. The wiser has special LEDs built into the physical unit that will tell you how your system is running, so you’ll always know if your house is being cooled or heated with a quick glance. It also has sensors that know when you’re nearby, and will change from a general temperature monitoring mode to a manipulation mode when you walk up to it.

The Wiser has a special feature called “comfort boost” which will burst out 15 minutes of hot or cold air in order to rapidly regulate your home’s temperature. This is great for scheduling right before you wake up or have guests over, as it can safe energy right up until you need it most. It can also rapidly humidify or dehumidify your home using the humidity balance feature, so you can always have a home that is just the right feeling. The thermostat can pull weather forecast data off the internet as well, and will use this information to prepare and regulate your home’s temperature effectively.

The thermostat works with an app that allows you to set schedules and unique temperature settings on the fly, and you can also hook it into IFTTT to automate many other features of your home that have internet access. If you aren’t too worried about having the best looking thermostat around but just want something with a ton of features, the Schneider Electric Wiser is worth a good look.

Check it out on Amazon for $ 174.38.

Are there any major options that we missed? A lot of these thermostats have extremely similar features, so you’ll really have to consider the little additions that make one worth it over the other for you. Let us know in the comments below!

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