The old saying of “keep it simple” has been taken to heart by thermostat developer Zen, www.zenthermostat.com.
While companies such as Nest, www.nest.com, and Venstar, www.venstar.com, have added features to the thermostat to allow it to do more than adjust air temperature, officials at Zen decided to go the other way and scale the thermostat down to the basics so it would not be seen as being smarter than the homeowner. The philosophy used by developers at Zen is customers don’t like things that are too complex, and keeping it simple could prove to be more attractive to consumers.
Taking the approach of “less is more,” officials at Zen set out to create a device attractive enough for the home which also serves as a good citizen in the connected home ecosystem. Push buttons have been replaced with a touch screen, and since magnets are used, the need for putting holes in the wall to hang up the device is not necessary.
Zen is an open system incorporating Wi-Fi or Zigbee, www.zigbee.org. It works using iControl’s OpenHome Labs, www.icontrol.com, or other smart-home systems, such as Apple’s HomeKit, www.apple.com. Designers used this format in order to have the thermostat work with as many devices as possible. A user can control the device using a smartphone app.
Zen has its origins in Planet Innovation, www.planetinnovation.com.au, an Australian-based product development company. Zen’s team is comprised of product designers and engineers who have spent a number of years working on thermostats and high tech devices. In addition to Planet Innovation, one of Zen’s other partners is MMB Networks, www.mmbnetworks.com, out of Canada.
Pricing for the Zen thermostat will be between $150-$200. The company is using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, www.indiegogo.com, to help with its marketing campaign.
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