The majority of home climate control systems in the world just won’t work with Nest, because they’re not managed from a central control point, and instead consist of individual window or wall-mounted units that use an IR-based remote control to vary air temperature and fan speed. Sensibo is a startup that wants to make the approximately 1 billion climate control devices that aren’t smart to smart with a little more Nest-like.
Sensibo is a small IR-compatible blaster that also connects to an app on your smartphone, which can not only remotely control the settings of your unit, but also automate your home climate control with intelligent features, including location-based activation, timer settings and a learning algorithm that the company claims can save you up to 40 percent on your home heating and cooling bills over time, and which learns your habits and cooling and heating schedules based on your behavior over time.
It can also detect if a room is actually occupied, and turn off your unit to conserve energy and save money. The unit itself is even monitoring temperature and humidity locally, meaning it can adjust based on various conditions that the AC device itself might not necessarily detect.
The company raised over $165,000 on Indiegogo during a campaign earlier this year, more than doubling its target of $70,000. Those interested can still pre-order the Sensible, which starts at $159 for a kit that includes both a hub component and the Sensibo control unit, and additional units are $80 apiece to let you expand your system to cover multiple rooms.
Sensibo’s creators anticipate shipping the first batch of units later this month, and they say their manufacturing plans are indeed on track. Nest isn’t for everyone, and while it’s still conceivable that the Google-owned company could build a Sensibo-style device, but for now at least, there’s a large untapped market for the startup to tap into, though it does face competition from other startups including Ambi Climate and Tado.