GE-backed Quirky Aros is a window air conditioner with Nest smarts, controlled by iPhone

Quirky Aros window a/c unit

Finally some much needed smart appliance love for those without central air conditioning (and it’ll keep you cool): the Quirky Aros. Backed by GE, the New York-based start-up Quirky has combined the traditional window A/C unit with some very modern technologies to create the Nest (smart thermostat) of window air conditioners at a particularly reasonable price. On the surface, the Aros is an 8,000 BTU window A/C unit (rated to cool 350 square feet) with an almost Apple-like exterior (it looks as good as any window A/C unit I could imagine). Throw in touch capacitive buttons, Wi-Fi, and an iPhone and Android app for adjusting remotely and you’ve got your smart window air conditioner. The smartphone app doesn’t just let you control the temperature remotely…

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Tony Fadell and his largely ex-Apple team to become Google’s core hardware designers

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

‘Father of the iPod’ Tony Fadell (right) and the rest of the Nest team will become Google’s “core hardware group,” working on a variety of hardware projects and given access to “as many resources as it needs,” according to an unnamed source cited by TechCrunch.

The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now [...]

When it comes to budget, Google is willing to let the Nest team use as many resources as it needs. In other words, the company is getting serious about consumer hardware, and Motorola was just a false start …  Read more

Is the Nest Protect fire alarm giving users false alarms?

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Late last September it was rumored that a smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector would join the now Google-owned Nest line of smart thermostats and was later announced in early October to a great response.

The Nest Protect, which retails for $129 in both a wired and battery powered variant, intelligently interacts with an iPhone app called Nest Home with warnings about low batteries (if applicable) and when alarms are active or about to be active. It also features a handy dismissal gesture for silencing a screaming alarm.

Some users, however, are reporting a number of unprompted false alarms unrelated to cooking or other reasonable instances. One user even reported the alarm stubbornly going off for 30 minutes in the middle of the night with no sign of smoke and ignoring prompts to dismiss the alarm after an apparent glitch in the device… Read more

Apple marketing chief Schiller unfollows Nest & Tony Fadell on Twitter following Google deal

Schiller and Fadell on the left (image via web)

Schiller and Fadell on the left

Only a few days after “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell agreed to sell thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest to Google for north of three billion dollars, Apple senior vice president (and former Fadell colleague) Phil Schiller has unfollowed the Nest CEO and the Nest company on Twitter.

Here’s Schiller’s following list from a recent cache:

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Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee

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Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest:
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CES 2014: Smart thermostat EverSense shows off ‘Aura’ iBeacons to intelligently adjust room temperature

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This week at CES 2014, Allure Energy, makers of a $400 smart thermostat Nest competitor called EverSense, showed off an upcoming add-on to its system that uses Apple’s new Bluetooth LE iBeacon technology. Dubbed “Aura,” the small iBeacons will become an extension to the smart EverSense thermostat by allowing iBeacons to detect iOS devices in proximity and adjust the temperature of a room accordingly. After an initial setup, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature from any room with an Aura iBeacon just by entering the room: Read more