Nest (Secretariat), Honeywell (Man o’ War), EnTouch (Citation) Viconics (Manuro), and ecobee (Northern Dancer) — And the Winner is?

Clint The tale of the tape has always been used to tell us of the legendary measures and exploits of the great racehorses in history. Now, after two quarters, five thermostat manufacturers are running one of the greatest product races of the last 50 years. At this point, they are almost running neck and neck, and strategic positioning in this third quarter will be critical for the final sprint to the finish line, and ultimately being voted as the 2013 ControlTrends’ Thermostat of the Year. Each contender must rally their communities for both nominations and votes!

The rigorously fierce competition in the thermostat market has evolved into a most beneficial form of “Coopetition” and the relentless and competitive addition of technology to their products has caused the unintended congruence that is growing all of their respective markets. The “do more with less needs of our economy” is witnessing the once round and mercury bulb sentinel evolve into an intelligent information courtier that harnesses the powers of the internet, at an extraordinary low cost, with all necessary bells and whistles consumers expect.

Several of these thermostat manufacturers have added the value-added smarts to join the grid and are already order-takers with some note-worthy projects to their credit. But, it’s good to know that when our society really wants to take energy and the smart grid seriously, there are several great competitive thermostats ready for installation.

Granted the racehorse analogy is a little bit of a reach, but the attributes of each champion lend themselves so readily for comparison with these great thermostat manufacturers:

1. Honeywell = Man o’ War. Man o’ War (Big Red) was never legitimately beaten. Honeywell continues its preeminence in the thermostat race with good, better, best products for all markets, ranging from the FocusPRO, to the Prestige IAQ (Red Link Series), to the UtilityPRO series. Honeywell has a thermostat solution for every application.

2. Nest = Secretariat. The fastest horse on dirt from 1 3/16 to 1 5/8 miles in history. The mercuric speed and continued success of the Nest thermostat are visible testaments to how successfully and rapidly the application of new technology and innovation can and will migrate into other industries. Nest has already launched a second generation model, and on April 22, 2013, Earth Day, Nest announced its proposed Nest Energy Services to begin this summer.

3. EnTouch = Citation (Big Cy). Citation was famously honored by the Cessna Aircraft Company (horseshoe in jet’s logo), which because of Citation’s incredible performance and endurance, selected the name Citation for its new Cessna business jet. EnTouch offers performance and endurance with its streamlined wireless communications, built-in HVAC optimization, and integrated gateway functions. The EnTouch EMS is designed for the needs of smaller commercial facilities. The system communicates wirelessly within the building and connects to the internet through a WiFi, Ethernet, or cellular, data connection. Setup is quick and easy, and costs are affordable.

4. Viconics = Manuro. Manuro was the top-rated horse in the world following a remarkable season when he went unbeaten in five races, ranging in distance from a mile to a mile-and-a-half. Schneider Electric’s, Viconics, winner of the 2012 Thermostat of the Year, brings that same remarkable range to the thermostatic and wireless control of a facility (small or large) to a whole new standard with the most advanced applications of stand-alone or integrated operations using EnOcean, Zigbee, CANBUS, BACnet, and Modbus communications.

5.ecobee = Northern Dancer = Northern Dancer is considered by many to be the greatest Canadian Racehorse of all time. ecobee’s Smart thermostats are easy, smart, and green — and have recently received similar recognition. ecobee was recognized at the Scotiabank EcoLiving Awards for Business leadership, as was ecobee’s free Home IQ™ Energy Report, which makes it easy for homeowners to track their energy savings using a virtual energy audit of their homes.

All comments, whether about the greatest racehorses or the greatest thermostats, are welcome. Please make sure you register to vote and participate in nomination phase and the voting phase of the 2013 ControlTrends Awards.

Clint

Clint, not his real name, is an independent contributor to Controltrends. He chooses to remain anonymous and demands complete autonomy in his blog "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." He is a straight shooter and his views are not necessarily the views of Controltrends

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