The thermostat with a brain is rolling out Nest Energy Services this summer, which will allow consumers to gain energy rebates at the flick of a switch, and even earn money from turning their air-con off. This is the Internet of Things at its best.
The central question about Apple these days is what it will become without Steve Jobs’s passionate conviction and daily direction in the design of the company’s products and services. Tuesday night, at an invitation-only party in Palo Alto, I got a peek at the answer. The Silicon Valley startup Nest launched its product--nay, company--at the new and trendy Reposado restaurant. Never has there been so much fanfare about the introduction of a thermostat.
Tony Fadell invented the iPod. Okay, he didn't do it singlehandedly--but the former Apple executive conceived it, got Apple on board, and then went on to shepherd the development of 18 (!) generations of the company's signature pre-iPhone product. In 2008 he left Apple and several years later founded a stealth startup called Nest Labs, which was revealed this year to be in the... thermostat business. Wait, what?