US wireless solutions manufacturer Magnum Energy Solutions this week launched Root, a Google Android-based smart thermostat designed to create interconnectivity between devices, appliances, protocols and building systems.
The Ohio-based company has developed the smart thermostat for use in multi-dwelling buildings, reports
Building management companies are able to use the device to communicate to a whole building or individual residents.
Facilities staff can also use Root to remotely monitor and turn off water, electricity, gas when units aren’t occupied.
Smart thermostat communication
Root is compatible with a number of communication platforms including EnOcean, ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZWave, Verizon 3G mobile capabilities and an Ethernet jack for connection to existing or planned infrastructure.
The thermostat works as the central portal of the home and is interoperable with other energy management devices, as well as home automation devices and security platforms – Sonos, Alarm.com, AT, Comcast and Nest Protect.
Root can control almost any device due to its Google Android core operated through an app accessible through Google’s play store.
The thermostat features a compact seven inch (17cm) touchscreen, allowing users to operate the device via their smartphone or tablet.
Users are also able to view security alerts and receive audible emergency messaging through the thermostat’s touchscreen display.
The new root thermostat is available on the US market from April 2015, at a recommended price of US$299 or US$379 for a device with Verizon mobile capabilities.
Smart home market heating up
The launch follows a succession of recent launches and buyouts within the increasing competitive smart thermostat market.
A spin-out from the University of Southampton in the UK was bought out by Quby, a leading European smart thermostat and energy display developer.
The acquisition of Joulo announced this week means that Quby can access advanced algorithms as well as a hardware product – the Joulo USB temperature logger.
Meanwhile, Canadian smart wifi thermostat company ecobee has confirmed that it will be involved with new utility programs in 2015 including partnerships with North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and Xcel Energy.
And EDF Energy unveiled a new smart thermostat device this week as part of its new HeatSmart system.
The device, which has been developed by consumer electronics specialist Netatmo, builds on smart meter functionality by giving people remote control over their heating systems through their smartphones, tablets, or computers.
The company said the new device was available to EDF customers and non-customers for GBP199, including installation and a two-year product and one-year installation warranty.