The Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is a new intelligent thermostat from Tony Fadell, Apple’s former Senior Vice President of the iPod Division (2001-2009) and Matt Rogers, who led an engineering team at Apple’s iPod Division in 2009.  Mike Matas, formerly of Delicious Monster and Apple, contributed to the design.

Intelligent thermostats aren’t new, but this one’s novel in that you don’t need to program it. The Nest learns your preferences by monitoring how it’s used. Eventually, it makes predictions, like raising your home’s temperature to your early-morning preference just before you wake, lowering the temperature at night and conserving energy when no one’s home (a motion detector monitors a room for activity).

An iOS app and web interface offer remote control, which is fantastic for those with vacation homes. You say a vicious cold snap has hit rural Maine where your second home is? Raise the basement temperature from a Florida beach with your iPhone, preventing the pipes from freezing and bursting.

At $250 it’s more expensive than most intelligent thermostats, but it’s beautiful, requires no programming, is accessible remotely and most homeowners can handle the installation themselves. I like it. Look for it in November from and Best Buy online.

Use an iPad 2 with an ADB keyboard


This week I’ve been thinking about using my beloved Apple Extended Keyboard with my iPad. I bought an iPad Camera Connection Kit, hoping it would work with my Griffin iMate. I’m pleased to report that, despite a complaint from the iPad about an “unsupported USB device,” it worked perfectly.

Use an ADB keyboard with an iPad 2 from Dave Caolo on Vimeo.

The video above shows exactly how I put it together, plus a minute of me typing in Notes on the iPad with my old Apple Extended Keyboard. The hardware I used:

  1. Apple Extended Keyboard
  2. ADB cable
  3. Griffin iMate
  4. Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit
  5. Apple iPad Dock
  6. iPad 2 (it also worked with an original iPad)

Nirvana. Plus the sight of the sleek iPad behind that battleship of a keyboard is hilarious.

For more fun with the iPad Camera Connection Kit: