Thermoneystat lets homeowners budget their energy usage, regulates temperature and cost

Utility bills are an inevitable part of life. It’s hard to keep track of how much money is spent on them and no one truly knows the cost of what they’re using until they receive the bill. Of course, by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

patent-claimed Thermoneystat is a thermostat that works in reverse. It lets the user set how much money they’d like to spend on heating and cooling for that month. In turn, the thermostat does its best to provide the most comfortable temperature at the best price. To do this, the system uses current energy prices, weather forecasts, and weather history to plan for the month. It also lets the user input their own scheduling preferences for maximum comfort.

All told, Thermoneystat provides an innovative way for homeowners to cut down on their energy costs, despite its cringeworthy name. To receive one unit, backers must donate $250, but it’s important to keep in mind that furnishing an entire house might require a few more. Estimated delivery is currently set for September 2015, provide the product can meet its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter by March 31, 2015.

Sensors/IoT Wearables

Back to the Backers: Tempi wearable thermometer

Back in October 2014, Backerjack covered Tempi. Unfortunately, it was a losing battle as it eventually proclaimed defeat. Defiantly, Tempi creator Venicipio has decided to give it another go around, hoping for success this time.

Tempi is a smart, wearable thermostat that can be used to monitor the temperature in multiple locations at once using Bluetooth LE, an upgrade from the previous campaign’s model that could only monitor one. As such, the product has inherent limits in range, but confusingly still boasts being able to report back temperatures even on the go. A nine month battery helps Tempi recognize temperatures from -22°F to 185°F for a while. A backing of $30 will get those interested a Tempi in Silver or Red, to be shipped in Marh 2015. The campaign’s current goal of $45,000 is $5,000 less than the original campaign’s $50,000 goal.

Tempi may have experienced its initial failure because of just how unexciting it is. Granted, temperature readings are good information to have, but to purchase an entirely separate product to do so seems a bit excessive. The creators behind it have added a few more bells and whistles, but in the end it doesn’t seem that much attractive.

Smart Home

Kumostat controls temperature, saves money and energy

The Premise. Traditional thermostat controls are incapable of adjusting to the constant fluctuations in temperature throughout the house. There have been a few temperature sensors that make the heating and air conditioning more responsive to the environment, but most of them are incapable of gaging the different temperatures throughout the house.

The Product. The Kumostat is joining the market of Internet-connected thermostats, but expanding the range of possibilities. By connecting with cloud-connected “Kumo Sensors” and existing Wireless Sensor Tags, the Kumostat gives a more accurate and precise reading of the environment in all the different parts of the house. You can customize the setting of the heat and air conditioning to reduce your energy bill while also guaranteeing a comfo-rtable temperature whenever you’re in the house. For example, the Kumo Sensors can automatically turn off the air conditioning when three or more windows are open. All of this can be done through the seamless interface of the iOS or Android smartphone app.

The Pitch. The video starts off in a Kumostat utopia (Kumopia?) where all the walls an windows are equipped with Kumo sensors. It explains how the sensors sense motion, and automatically adjust the temperature to benefit the room with the most activity for optimum efficiency. It switches to graphics of the smartphone controls that allow for the customization of your environment; the seems like a simple app for anyone to use, yet complex in the ways it can be personalized. Lastly, the Kumostat video makes a pitch to businesses by highlighting the fact that the Kumostat can work in large buildings—and reap large energy saving benefits.

The Perks. There are many different combinations of sensors that best fit your needs. If you already own Wireless Sensor Tags, the Kumostat itself only costs $36 and is compatible with Ethernet Tag Manager revision 5 or higher. If you don’t know what any of that means, it probably means you’re building your connected thermostat from scratch. The best option for you then is the $136 pledge category that includes a Kumostat, a Reed Kumo Sensor (door/window, temperature, humidity), a PIR Kumo Sensor (infra-red occupancy, temperature, and humidity), and one Wireless Sensor Tag Hub. That should be more than enough to get you started, and you can expand your collection of sensors if you enjoy the benefits of the connected thermostat.

The Potential. The Nest brought connected thermostats into the mainstream of the public eye, and now others are looking to join the market. These thermostats are going to start appearing in more and more homes as more people realize how much money and energy they save. Kumostat adds an interesting twist by factoring in the possibility of there being different temperatures in the house. It doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal as the Nest, but there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be able to succeed in the market of people with larger homes and a desire for more control over their home environment.

Smart Home

Cosy is another smart thermostat that plans to leave the Nest… behind

The Premise. In the extremes of seasonal weather, coming home can be less about relaxing and more about suffering in the elements while waiting for the thermostat to kick in. One UK company believes that a home should be welcoming to its occupants the moment they walk in the door, without the presence of insanely high power bills.

The Product.  Not to be confused with another heating-themed project with a similar nameCosy is a home heating system designed to make all the arrangements that make a house a home. Using Legato protocol, each portion of the Cosy system communicates wirelessly using an 868MHz radio frequency and is upgradeable, allowing the inventors to add more components and more connectedness over time. Using the app on phones or tablets, Cosy can get the home to the perfect temperature at any time in advance, and cut back on heating costs when there’s nobody inside.

The Pitch. Green Energy Options, or GEO, has a short, sweet video that goes through all four of the compact parts of a Cosy system – the hub, the display, the switch, and the app. Each of these components is explained and illustrated in greater detail in the campaign explanation, showing how all of these devices work in tandem. The home heating system is ready for market, but GEO is raising £20,000 for WelcomeHome, an add-on using custom Smart Plugs that can be used with lamps or other electric devices so that they can be on and ready when residents arrive at their homes.

The Perks. As of right now, Cosy systems are only available to backers in the UK, and a pledge of £150 will give backers the system, the app, and 1 Smart Plug, available next month.

The Potential. Cosy knows they’re not the first ones to market with a smart thermostat. Aside from existing units like Nest and its competitors, there are other connected thermostats taking the crowdfunding approach. What Cosy expects to be able to do better than all the others is offer a complete-home heating system, covering everything from individual preferences to hot water, and even including a frost-protection system to eliminate the possibility of freezing pipes. The price is right for something like this; Cosy would indeed by s smarter thermostat.

Sensors/IoT Smart Home

Zstat brings the heat (or cold) to your smart home, senses danger

Zstat  20140220113721-zss9[1]If you’re still suffering from the sticker shock of your last utility bill, Zstat might be able to take the bite out of the future ones. While not as sleek as the Nest. it costs considerably less and offers more safety features such as sensors for smoke, carbon monoxide, and air quality. It also comes in white or stainless steel and is easily controlled with the Zstat app or text messages. For at least $100, early bird backers get the version with the safety features and an expected delivery of August 2014.