According to a Bloomberg report by Mark Gurman, Nest plans to release a new thermostat in the ‘coming weeks’ at an aggressive $129 price point. The original thermostat costs $249. Google does have a budget friendly version called the Nest Thermostat E at $169, but it’s lacking in features and is just meant for people who want the basics.
Apparently, the source claiming that this new thermostat is coming soon wants to remain anonymous, so there’s not much we can do to confirm this news except wait and see if it comes true. Mark received information that the new thermostat would have a plastic housing instead of metal. Does this mean that the new device will be closer in features to the Thermostat E? Not quite. The source aforementioned states that Project Soli, Google’s miniature motion sensing radar project, would make an appearance here. Instead of touching the thermostat to interact with it, you may be able to simply wave your hand up or down in front of its display to change the temperature or move your hand towards or away from it to navigate menus. Google’s Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 did not ship with Project Soli on board, but their head of hardware – Rick Osterloh – said in a recent interview with The Verge that the technology would make a comeback in some form.
(Referring to Project Soli chips) “They’ll be used in the future.”Rick Osterloh – Head of Hardware, Google
Mark believes that the pricing strategy here is reflective of Google’s efforts to remain competitive with their hardware division. After losing hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs, a $169 device could help them compete with Honeywell or Ecobee and bring more customers into their smart home ecosystem. Having not been able to use my own Nest Thermostat for several years now, I imagine Google is having difficulty getting these things into people’s homes. They’re fantastic, but at an almost $300 price point, people are investing in their new Chromecast and Nest Audio instead. In order to complete their in-home ecosystem and create a ‘thoughtful home’, Google would do well to complete the package by revitalizing the Nest thermostat and doing their best to renew consumer’s interest in it.