We really liked Evohome, the nice colourful thermostat / programmer from Honeywell, which allows you to automatically control your heating even when you are away from your home. It also has the ability to change the temperatures of individual rooms – much like the Heat Genius system (which one customer said produced about 33% savings on his gas bill).
Anyway, it appears that Honeywell’s R&D team have been hard at work (or at least seen one of the big bill boards advertising the Nest system) and their creation is the Honeywell Lyric.
The similarities really are uncanny between Google’s Nest and Honeywell’s Lyric – they look pretty much identical, share many of the same features and early indications suggest that the two companies are going head to head on price too.
Geofencing is the future!
But while the Nest is now an ageing technology (yes we really just said that!), the Lyric uses Geofencing to give you and the system even more control over the heating. Sure you can turn off the heating from some far away holiday destination when you realise it was left on, but Geofencing takes things a step further. It knows where you are in proximity to the thermostat – and adjusts the heating accordingly. This means you don’t have to worry about wasting energy from the sun lounger.
Once you have set up the thermostat in your home and installed the app on your phone via iOS or Android, it will know when you have left the house and work things out accordingly.
It comes with two settings – a 7 mile radius for rural properties and a 500 foot for city dwellers. This means that when you enter or exit either of these limits, it will fire up or turn down the heating accordingly, so when you arrive you come home to a lovely warm place and when you leave you aren’t wasting energy unnecessarily.
Geofencing’s functionality, while not overly complex, is sure to play an important role in future intelligent heating controls – no longer are people satisfied with a simple mechanical thermostat.
The Honeywell Lyric will also take into account different users, and so will only turn off if everyone leaves in the home. The system also uses a feature called ‘Fine Tune’ that tracks indoor and outdoor temperature as well as humidity and alters the temperature based on these measurements.
Intelligent heating is the future
I for one am really excited about this new added functionality – the longer I remain in the energy saving industry, the more I can see the potential for mass adoption of these intelligent heating controls in homes. This is highlighted by the increased focus and backing shown by large companies, such as Google and their resources, towards more intelligent heating controls.
Heating systems are getting more intelligent and adjusting your heating not only based on your decisions but your behaviour as well – this ‘setup and forget’ technology is surely going to be the winner going forward.
So while we wait to see what functionality Google have in store for the Nest v2, lets enjoy Honeywell’s latest offering and appreciate that the bar has now been raised!