A single innovative invention heralded the arrival of the smart home. Nest, the learning thermostat, made such a splash when it was released that it single-handedly opened the door for other smart appliances to be taken seriously. Just after Nest's acquisition by Google, a new smart thermostat has hit the smart home scene, one which offers a dissenting vision of the home of the future.
The people at Spark aren't working for a tech giant. They're just a bunch of people who think that we should be connected to our living spaces in ways that we only dream about today. To that end, they've developed a little board called the Spark Core, which connects your appliances to the Internet using Wi-Fi. By itself, that doesn't sound very impressive. Lots of people have been trying to connect our devices to the web. But now Spark has gone and shown us something special: an open-source, learning thermostat that only cost them about $70 to create. That includes the brains, displays, heat and motion sensors, and even the casing.
That's a LOT less than the $250 a Nest will run you. But price is just a small piece of what Spark's thermostat represents. The Internet of Things is still in its infancy, and almost anyone can have a hand in shaping what it will grow into. Sure there's a good chance that GE and Google will end up running the show, but there's also the real possibility that DIY communities will develop a working, cobbled-together smart home of their own.
As Spark states on their thermostat's page, "this is the next frontier, and it’s time to check it out." So whether you're a DIY fanatic or a penny-pincher with a knack for soldering, check out the Spark thermostat's Github page here and see what you can do with it. Maybe even put together your own new smart appliance and start down the road to a $3.2 billion Google acquisition of your own.