“In 2007, Tony Fadell believed he could see the future. He was an Apple executive who had created the iPod and was a leading figure on the team that had worked on the iPhone, which the company was about to launch,” Tom Simonite reports for MIT Technology Review. “He knew people would soon form attachments to the Internet-connected computers they carried in their pockets, and he kept thinking about that as he started another major project: building an energy-efficient dream home near Lake Tahoe.”

“‘I said, ‘How do I design this home when the primary interface to my world is the thing in my pocket?” says Fadell. He baffled architects with demands that the home’s every feature, from the TV to the electricity supply, be ready for a world in which the Internet and mobile apps made many services more responsive,” Simonite reports. “When it came to choosing a programmable thermostat for his expensive eco-friendly heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, Fadell blew a gasket: ‘They were 500 bucks a pop, and they were horrible and doing nothing and brain-dead. And I was like, ‘Wait a second, I’ll design my own.””

Advertisement: Nest – Learning Thermostat 2nd Generation – Stainless-Steel

Simonite reports, “Fadell’s instincts turned out to be correct. Nest’s first model, a striking stainless-steel-ringed disc with a circular display, went on sale in October 2011 to widespread acclaim. The HVAC industry, a sector as unexciting as the thermostats it sold, was astonished by the fresh ideas behind the device, which learned from its owners’ behavior and could be controlled with a polished mobile app. The company released a second, more advanced thermostat in October 2012, and says sales of the two models have been brisk… Now the company is preparing to release another product. Details are scarce, but it seems that Fadell’s thermostat epiphany has launched a technological campaign that will make every part of your home more intelligent.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
‘Father of the iPod’ Tony Fadell on Apple’s unique design process (with video) – January 19, 2013
Tony Fadell: Scott Forstall ‘got what he deserved’ – November 29, 2012