Programmable thermostats, by design, are meant to do one thing: regulate the temperature of your home, and perhaps display the current outdoor temperature.
Home Automation Inc., however, believes that the device is capable of much more. Introduced at the CEDIA Expo last week, the company’s newly released Omnistat2 doubles as an interface for controlling the lights and other electronic components.
To me, the design makes a lot of sense. Most thermostats already have built-in screens and plenty of buttons, so why not use those screens and buttons monitor and operate other types of electronic devices?
It precludes the need for separate interfaces and is ideally suited for Smart Grid programs implemented by electric utilities. The display of the Omnistat2 is designed to change colors in response to utility related events, like when the rates are low. Based on that information, a user could choose to turn off certain electronic devices – right from the thermostat.
To date, most In Home Displays designed for use with Smart Grid programs have been small, standalone “dashboards,” making the Omnistat2 a unique option for both utilities and homeowners.
In addition to the Omnistat2, HAI also announced that its OmniTouch 5.7e and OmniTouch 10p will feature a newly designed interface to fully integrate with Russound’s high-end E-Series whole-house audio products.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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