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Innovation

A thermostat that knows when you're nearby (and adjusts)

What if your house's air conditioning system adjusted its temperature shortly before you returned home? Allure Energy's new thermostat brings the concept to market.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

LAS VEGAS -- What if your house's air conditioning system adjusted its temperature shortly before you returned home?

It's not a dream; the technology exists today. Here at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Austin, Texas-based Allure Energy debuted its EverSense proximity-based energy management system that manages energy use based on how near (or far) each user is from their home.

The system uses a mobile app (iPhone, Android, iPad) that employs your phone's GPS to determine your location. As you put more distance between you and the house in the winter, the system at home lowers the temperature. As you get closer, it rises. The idea is to have your house at a target temperature based on location, not time of day -- but still save money by saving energy when you don't really need it.

It's a novel approach to data-based energy management, though I imagine it isn't a great idea to work off this paradigm alone: after all, if you're the kind of person who stays near home, it may be difficult for the system to understand your intentions. (I imagine a scenario where you drive by your house a few times while running errands; inside, the HVAC system is constantly correcting itself. Hardly an energy-saver.) There is a way to notify the system of errand-like activity, but this of course requires user input, and the point of the entire scheme is to be in the background.

The EverSense monitors energy and water consumption and will retail for $349. It won't carry a monthly cost -- a nice touch, nevermind that another monthly bill would contradict its core mission.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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