The thermostat may seem like an unlikely candidate for reinvention if your last big hit product was none other than the iPod, but that's exactly where Tony Fadell set his sights after leaving Apple some years ago. And while thermostats may never be as sexy or fun as a slick mp3 player, Fadell's new Nest Learning Thermostat does its damndest to bring them into the 21st century.
The Nest is the thermostat redesigned from the ground up, and it's not just a pleasure to look at, it's smarter other thermostats, too. It's programmed to learn your habits and preferences, such as what temperatures you like in the morning, at noon and at night. It even has sensors that can tell whether you're home or not and adjust the system accordingly; and even when you're not around, wi-fi functionality means you can control the device remotely via a smartphone app.
As you can probably tell by looking at it, the Nest Learning Thermostat isn't cheap: it retails for $250 a pop. But the company says that since heating and cooling account for approximately half of the average person's energy bill, their smart device will save users a lot more money in the long run.