Affordable home automation has been a long time coming. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s the 21st Century and homes still don’t have Star Trek style swishy doors as standard.
But iPhone-controlled heating and lighting is here today. Nest hasn’t yet made it to the UK, so I decided to try out competitor system Tado, which is available in Europe now and expected to launch in the US at CES in Las Vegas in January.
In the UK, it costs £249 ($400) outright, or you can rent it for £7 ($11.35) a month. Tado claims you will save more on your heating costs than it costs to rent.
The idea behind Tado is three-fold. First, automation. As well as the programmable timer you have in any heating system, it also monitors the locations of everyone in the household via their iPhones (or Android phones). If everyone is out, it turns down the heating even if the timer says it should be on.
How much it turns it down depends on how far away you are, because it aims to have it back up to temperature by the time you return. Nip out to the local grocery store, and it won’t adjust it much, drive an hour to work and it’ll turn it down a lot … Read more