Nest shocked the smart home world when Tony Fadell introduced the original learning thermostat in 2011. Its round, futuristic design made a formerly mundane appliance look downright sexy.
Not to be outdone, heating and cooling behemoth Honeywell is finally ready to compete with a smart thermostat of its very own. Meet the Lyric.
At first glance, the Lyric looks like a Nest thermostat painted white. But Honeywell will be the first to remind you that it created the iconic round thermostat look way back in 1953. More importantly, the Lyric aims to one-up Nest with a technology called geofencing.
Unlike the Nest thermostat, which relies on manual temperature input to learn your schedule, the Lyric creates a "geofence" around your home and monitors the location of your smartphone via its companion app.
If you leave the geofenced area, the Lyric will turn down your heating system to save energy. And when you re-enter the area on your way home, Lyric will automatically start to reheat or cool your home to bring it back to a comfortable temperature.
The Verge reports that the Lyric even has two geofencing modes—one with a seven mile radius for suburban homes, and another with a 500 foot radius for urban homes.
Perhaps most intriguing is the fact that Lyric is a platform for multiple future smart appliances. The smart thermostat is just the beginning, and Honeywell plans on releasing more products—ones that can work together—in the future.
The Lyric's companion app also includes an innovative way of changing your home's temperature based on "events." You can program the thermostat for events like going to bed or having a party with a lot of guests.
If that sounds familiar, it should. At last week's World Wide Developers Conference, Apple exec Craig Federighi suggested users could tell Siri when they're going to bed, and the company's new HomeKit platform would turn down your thermostat, lock your doors, and shut off your lights. Honeywell is listed as one of Apple's initial HomeKit partners, so it will be interesting to see how the Lyric platform plays into the two companies' smart home plans.
If you're interested in purchasing the Lyric thermostat, Honeywell says it's available now from professional home heating and cooling contractors. It should hit retail stores this August for $279.
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