iPod Executive Designs Smart Thermostat

From former iPod chief Tony Fadell comes a smart thermostat that adjusts the temperature in your home according to your lifestyle while saving substantial amounts of energy. 

What's the Latest Development?


A new easy-to-use smart thermostat could save your house a lot of energy, meaning a smaller bill at the end of the month. Former iPod chief Tony Fadell has designed a thermostat that learns from your behaviors rather than requiring you to program it. Several smart thermostats are already on the market but their user interface has not proven friendly. "In fact, Energy Star revoked its certification of all smart thermostats in 2009 when it became apparent that people weren’t using their features properly."

What's the Big Idea?

Fadell's thermostat, called the Nest, bypasses programming by using high-end technology like algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing to adapt to the user's daily routine. The learning process lasts about a week, claim's the Nest website. The device connects to your home's Wi-Fi and "can be controlled with a laptop, smartphone or tablet, allowing on-the-go users to change the temperature, adjust a schedule, and frequently check energy usage."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less