Apple is now selling the Nest Learning Thermostat, a sleekly designed device developed by Nest Labs -- the Silicon Valley startup founded by the father of the iPod. Apple is selling the thermostat, which is loaded with intelligent features that allow it to learn, in its online store for $249, reported iLounge. The thermostat will reportedly be available at Apple retail stores as well.
Nest Labs has expanded rapidly since its introduced its learning thermostat just a little more than six months ago. The company announced yesterday on its blog will begin shipping the Nest thermostat to Canada. Nest also has partnered with Lowe's to sell its thermostat, which is now available in more than 500 of the home improvement company's stores.
Those are notable expansions. But the Apple deal is by far its biggest score.
Seven months ago, Tony Fadell, former chief architect at Apple who led the development of the iPod, and Matt Rogers, former lead engineer of the iPod and iPhone, introduced the Nest learning thermostat. The disruptive product sold out quickly of pre-orders and folks hoping to give the Nest as a Christmas gift had to wait until 2012.
Despite its short life, the Nest has already received a major upgrade, which I reported on in April. The learning thermostat received a software upgrade that added features including an enhanced energy history that gives users more detailed data on when heating and cooling was on in the past 10 days and how the weather or their thermostat adjustments affected their energy use. The hardware of the Nest also was improved.
Nest has had its hiccups as well. Honeywell filed in February a lawsuit alleging infringement of seven patents related to its thermostat technology. Nest has countered those allegations and in perhaps a not so coincidental move hired former Apple chief patent counsel Richard Lutton as vice president and general counsel to the company.
Photo: Nest Labs