Home thermostat maker Emerson today announced two new smart thermostats, one of which includes a color touchscreen display. The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat — along with an updated version of Sensi's existing Wi-Fi Thermostat — is now compatible with Apple's smart home management platform HomeKit, for controlling the device using the Apple Home app on iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, or voice using Siri.
Apart from showing current system temperature and swipe-to-set features, the touchscreen display on the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi changes color to indicate whether the system is heating or cooling, while live humidity tracking keeps users informed about their home's atmosphere. Meanwhile, smart alerts serve to notify homeowners of extreme temperature changes when detected.
Additional menu options enable users to customize the information on the home screen display and to choose a continuous back glow for soft lighting in dark hallways or rooms. In addition to the touchscreen controls, the thermostat also has illuminated terminals for increased visibility while wiring and easy-click terminals that eliminate the need for a screwdriver.
"As we've continued to learn from our customers, homeowners are gravitating toward simple smarthome solutions that make life easier," said Robert T Sharp, executive president of Emerson Commercial. "Our latest Sensi thermostats combine enhanced capabilities, including support for Apple HomeKit with simple and secure controls, and a sleek new interface with a proven home comfort experience that puts users firmly in control of their environment, anytime and from anywhere."
The thermostat display functions are mirrored in the accompanying Sensi app, which includes instructional steps for easy do-it-yourself installation, no experience required. Elsewhere, the system supports flexible scheduling for each day of the week, while a geofencing feature allows users to change temperature settings when they leave and before they return to their home.
In addition to the Apple HomeKit integration, the Sensi thermostats are compatible with smart home platforms Amazon Alexa and Wink. The Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat costs $129.99, while the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat costs $199.99 and will be available in the U.S. starting June.
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I'll report back once I use it for awhile. I will add that this is just an upgrade from the standard white Sensi with physical buttons that I had on my wall for about 2 1/2 years. I just wanted the nicer look and touchscreen and gave my old one to a friend. During the time I've used it I have found Emerson's servers to be up very close to 100% of the time and the thermostat never let me down. They are a company that serves a lot of commercial applications as well so I figure that helps with reliability both with the stat and the network. App appears to have been developed in house by real software people and they claim to actually manufacture the product in their factories. Last, if the network or whatever goes down the thermostats will still run on their programmed schedule and you can still adjust them on the wall.
Here are a few real pictures of it. First is the always on display. It shows the room temp and either a gray background for idle or off, red for heat or blue for AC. The number switches back and forth from white to black every so often. My guess it does that to prevent screen burn in.
Second picture is when you touch it and it wakes up. Gray if off, blue for cooling,red for heating.
Last is the nightlight that you can turn on or off.
I wish all IoT devices were like the Philips Hue system. Everything is controlled locally; no need for servers out on the internet that you don't control.