As the great 2013 thermostat race approaches the first quarter turn, it looks as though some of the contenders are more competitive and in more of a hurry than the others. At least four of last year’s five top contenders did leave the gate.
Remember, these are the industry thoroughbreds led by the most competent technical and marketing stable hands in the business. Here’s an early performance review from the cyber track:
In Lane 1, Viconics is taking advantage of its new handlers at Schneider Electric and is preparing to unleash a flurry of new thermostats (VT8000 series) and wireless products incorporating the technical horsepower of the Can2go products with its own formidable line.
In Lane 2, Honeywell appears to be setting the pace though, complimenting their Prestige and RedLINKS thermostat offerings with a new Commercial Automation Contractor (CAC) program to entice a new set of contractors who can fully realize the potential benefits of the new Prestige IAQ and RedLINK system thermostats. Honeywell’s “MyTotalConnectComfort” website and the tablet/phone apps are impressive.
In Lane 3, Ecobee is moving right along, though it appears to have taken a two-step detour by adding a Buy Direct feature to their website with a direct sales pitch to the DIY market. There is a secondary option to use a professional contractor, who might buy it direct, or might go through a distributor. Not real clear about the direction of this message.
In Lane 4, EnTouch Controls is the definite dark horse in this race, making serious market strides by offering a simple and seamless solution for light commercial facilities and markets, and taking the reigns over energy costs by adding commercial grade energy monitoring and control over the gigantic market’s energy usage and maintenance costs.
This leaves us with the amazing Nest in Lane 5. After an extended visit to the Nest website (to check for a pulse), basically, there’s nothing new to report from Nest other than a couple of loyal Nest-huggers posting away, in their yuppical Nest-loving way. To compete in this race, Nest needs something Nesty new — and soon! Is it possible the Nest has reached it’s US market saturation point?
There’s three more quarters to go. I’ll let you assign the Good, Bad and the Ugly this round.