Honywell Takes on Nest Thermostats

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The Google-owned Nest gets some competition in so-called smart thermostats-- Honeywell takes on the device category with the Lyric, a similar thermostat promising potential customers both comfort and savings.

Honeywell LyricThe first of a new range of Honeywell smartphone-controllable home products, the Lyric features a round design (a homage to 1950s Honeywell Round thermostats) with a bright display and colourful icons. The edges are touch-sensitive and act like a dial complete with clicking sounds, and likewise the face features touch-sensitive buttons.

Control comes via wifi using smartphone (iOS and Android) apps and what Honeywell calls "geofence"-- essentially location-based control, where the Lyrics switches to energy saving mode when the house is empty, and switches on heating or cooling according to user preferences when the homeowner is coming home.

Geofence handles multiple devices from multiple household members, so it only switches modes when the house is truly empty.

Meanwhile a "Fine Tune" feature promises to tweak temperatures to most comfortable levels by taking in account both indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity and weather.

Honeywell says the Lyric is designed for DIY installs, with all required information found in the app, but currently it is not compatible with other automation or control systems. It is available now in the US, but the company gives no word on a European launch as yet.

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