Your normal thermostat helps you to adjust the temperature in your home, letting you control the heating and the air conditiong. The difference between Smart Thermostats and regular thermostats is the fact that they can learn from your specific needs and behaviours. After a certain learning period you won’t even need to control the thermostat anymore – it will adjust itself based on its saved data. This goes way beyond the functionality of “just” programmable thermostats. Moreover Smart Thermostats often provide interfaces that can be controlled fully remotely via the Internet or your Smartphone.
Imagine how much money you could save in heating costs over a period of a couple of years. These thermostats will take care of turning off the heating when it is not needed. It can retrieve current weather data from the Internet and create dynamic heating schedules on the fly. Everything can happen completely passive without you doing anything. Of course the initial investment is higher than with a regular one but it will pay off after the first year.
A very well known company that produces these Thermostats is Nest which was bought by Google recently for a couple billion dollars. This deal was all over the news and helped making this technology popular. The Nest Learning Thermostat is currently the most popular Smart Thermostat out on the market. It is even listed in the Online Apple Store due to its tight integration with the app store via an iOS app. By the way, Nest was Co-founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. While founded in 2010 it has already grown up to 460 employees to date.
You might also know the company Honeywell. In fact, this company was founded over a hundred years ago in 1906. They have begun to manufacture smart thermostats as well after realizing that the market is basically exploding right now. Their Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is a valid competitor in the run for the Thermostat reign.