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Learning Thermostat

  • Object:

    Thermostat

  • Place of origin:

    California (designed)
    China (manufactured)

  • Date:

    2014 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nest Labs (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plastic and metal case and glass screen

  • Museum number:

    CD.36:1 to 10-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Nest thermostat is a new kind of smart device for the home. Loaded with sensors and connected to the Internet, it is designed to learn your schedule in order to automatically regulate the temperature of your home.

The company Nest was founded by Tony Fadell, who previously worked at Apple on the iPod and iPhone. The thermostat is intended to appeal to consumers interested in new technologies and innovative product design.

Part of a generation of products that ushers in the Internet of Things, the thermostat collects data about your habits – such as when you are at home. Nest claims this information can reduce home energy consumption by up to 20%. In 2013, Nest was acquired by global search giant Google, raising concerns in the press about data privacy.

Google, a company which assembles personalised profiles of users of its products based on their online activity in order to deliver targeted advertising, now has a foothold in our homes. Architect Rem Koolhaas, speaking at a press conference in March 2014, described smart devices such as the Nest thermostat as ‘the first step toward an architecture of betrayal’. As with much new technology today, the device provides personalised service in exchange for personal information. This object, and the services it communicates with, neatly capture this contemporary dilemma. The Nest Learning Thermostat is a fascinating device, a beautiful object of design, containing within it a potentially threatening future.

Physical description

Learning Thermostat by Nest Lab round thermostat with silver casing with a black screen. The thermostat slots on to a stand with a circular base.

Place of Origin

California (designed)
China (manufactured)

Date

2014 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Nest Labs (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Plastic and metal case and glass screen

Dimensions

Height: 14.1 cm, Width: 9 cm

Descriptive line

Learning Thermostat by Nest Labs, California, USA, 2014

Labels and date

From The Future Starts Here

A THERMOSTAT THAT LEARNS YOUR SCHEDULE
Learning Thermostat
Nest Labs
2014

The Nest thermostat does not need programming. Instead, it collects data about your daily habits, like when you go to work, and uses this information to automatically regulate the temperature of your home, saving energy while you are out. Supplying this personal information in exchange for ‘free’ services is a feature of some internet companies today, although many of us do not fully understand the terms.
Commercially available product. Glass, steel, circuit board, LED display and custom software
V&A: NCOL.391:1-2017
[May 2018]
30.04.2014

The Nest thermostat is a new kind of ‘smart’ device for the home. Loaded with sensors and connected to the Internet, it is designed to learn about you and the temperature you like in order to make your home environment comfortable. The thermostat was designed by Tony Fadell, who previously worked at Apple on the iPod and iPhone. It is intended to appeal to consumers interested in new technologies and innovative product design. Part of a generation of products that ushers in the ‘Internet of things’, the thermostat collects data about your habits – such as when you are at home, or out at work. This increase in information and connectivity can reduce costs and allow for remote control via mobile devices. Concerns about privacy were raised in the press when global search giant Google acquired Nest in February 2014, broadening the scope of its holdings of personal data.

Nest thermostat
2013
Designed in Palo Alto, USA
Designed and manufactured by Nest
LCD display, printed circuit board, aluminium
rotating ring and terminals
Museum no. CD.36-2014 [02/07/2014]

Materials

Ink; Card

Categories

Rapid Response Collecting; Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Design, Architecture and Digital Department

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