Smart Home

tado° lets you keep your cool with your smartphone and air conditioner

The Premise. As summer approaches, homeowners everywhere are coming home to hot, sticky houses that take time to cool down. The alternative is leaving the air conditioner running all day, but that strategy requires spending more on utilities and isn’t environmentally conscious.

The Product. The tado° is a cooling system that can be controlled through an app, but will also power off the air conditioner when nobody is in the home and turn it on within a set proximity to make rooms nice and cool upon arrival. The system can be controlled from room to room as well, so that only enough cooling that is needed is used. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and the tado° system is compatible with virtually any remote-controlled air conditioning system.

The Pitch. We learn about tado° through Harold and Lizzie, a couple who prove the axiom of opposites attracting. tado° helps keep their energy costs down while Lizzie is at work and Harold is out shopping, reading, and generally forgetting to turn the air conditioner off when he leaves. Because Tado, Inc. is already launched and experienced in climate control in Europe, their presentation is well-shot, attractive, and eye-catching. From explaining the app to listing the various brands of compatible air conditioners, almost any question about the tado° system is answered. Tado wants to raise $150,000 to

The Perks. A tado° system with app is available to backers who pledge at least $99 per unit. For those who have a uniquely colored room and want the tado° panel to match, color can be customized for $179. Developers who want to use the same technology behind the device for other purposes can get a developer kit for $299. All rewards will ship out in August 2014.

The Potential.  Similar systems are already rolling out for lighting and heaters, so air conditioners are a natural step. And while tado° may not be first to market, the sleek presentation, easily hidden sensor panel, and compatibility with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and infra-red make the tado° a solid choice for anyone wanting to come home to cool temperatures without having a massive power bill. The functionality is comparable to the Friedrich Kuhl or Quirky+GE Aros air conditioner, but part of the beauty of tado° is its compatibility with a wide variety of different brands of air conditioner, meaning a new system doesn’t need to be purchased and any brand loyalty can remain firmly in place.