I have a confession - I like Google's services a lot. Gmail is my primary email, I watch YouTube videos everyday and Google+ is my favourite social media network. With that said, it can be scary for one company to have so much control of the internet and to know so much about me. While I trust Google, I can understand people's hesitation to put blind-faith into the search-giant.
When Google bought Nest, many people were up in arms over the deal. After all, if you don't trust the company with your email, you certainly won't trust it controlling your home. Luckily, if you want a smart thermostat, but don't want Google, you can go in a different direction - Honeywell. Yes, today, that iconic company announces a Nest competitor called Lyric which is downright sexy and best of all for some people - Google-free.
"Most people don't have a predictable pattern to how they live their lives; why not have a thermostat that adjusts based on your real-time schedule? With the Lyric thermostat's geofencing capability, my house returns to my preferred comfort setting when I'm within a few miles from home. Quite simply, the Lyric thermostat offers me the ability to keep my life in tune - delivering comfort when I’m home and savings when I'm gone", says Beth Wozniak, president of Environmental and Combustion Controls.
Honeywell further explains, "when a homeowner walks up to the Lyric thermostat, a built-in proximity sensor signals the display to turn on and show current temperature and the home’s heating or cooling status. A soft halo of light in orange (heating), blue (cooling), or green (away/energy savings) momentarily illuminates around the thermostat to indicate it is making temperature adjustments. Additionally, touch-sensitive buttons flank the center display - one for accessing current and upcoming weather information, and one for setting back your temperature while you’re away. The Lyric thermostat provides easy-to-understand alerts on when to change a filter, if and when your furnace needs servicing, and even help find a trusted service professional".
To Google detractors I must ask, is Honeywell really more trustworthy than the search-giant? While it is hard to trust any company, at least Google has a history of protecting user data. Sure, Honeywell is a different company, but that doesn't mean it is better from a privacy standpoint. In other words, while I agree you should never blindly trust a company, I would argue that you shouldn't trust a competitor for the sake of being different either - "not being Google" shouldn't be looked at as a benefit.
The Lyric is available now to professional contractors, but will be available to the general public starting in August for $279.99 (£167). The app to control it is available for both Android and iOS. The big question is, which would you prefer, Lyric or Nest? Tell me what you think in the comments.