Many thermostat manufacturers are bringing Web-connected smart thermostats to the market, to compete with the Nest Learning Thermostat. Multi-service operators (MSOs), home security monitoring services and other smart home device manufacturers are taking a different approach—using connected thermostats as part of a wider smart-home system.
The end-user benefit of having a smart thermostat is that the product makes decisions about heating and cooling, based on actual environmental factors. The smart thermostats that are currently in the market use presence-sensing and algorithms to determine a person’s location, in order to adjust the thermostat accordingly. As with all high-tech devices, these features are continually updated and improved. While algorithms could be easily upgraded with automatic software updates over the Internet, adding an environmental sensor requires the replacement of the entire thermostat. As with smartphones, consumers might need to upgrade their thermostats every couple of years, to make sure they are taking advantage of the new technology; however, many end-users might not want to spend the money to do so.
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