updated 10:42 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Lyric thermostat uses smartphone app to activate heating when user returns home
Honeywell is attempting to take on Nest more directly in the intelligent thermostat market, by launching a new round smart thermostat. The Lyric is able to manage the temperature of a home and make adjustments to the heating schedule based on various sensor readings, with the thermostat also using a smartphone app for remote control functions as well as automatically warming the house when it detects the user is returning.
Using the location of the smartphone, the Lyric's geofencing feature activates an energy-saving mode when the home is empty, heating or cooling the house to a preferred temperature in time for the home owner's return. The "Fine Tune" mode uses the indoor and outdoor temperature, weather from online reports using its Wi-Fi connection, and humidity to change the way it heats or cools, as it attempts to be more energy efficient.
While smartphone apps for iOS and Android will allow for remote management of the Lyric, it can also be adjusted on the device itself. A proximity sensor automatically activates a display showing the current temperature and the status of the house's heating or cooling systems, while the outer ring can be used in conjunction with the front buttons for adjusting temperature settings, or viewing current and future weather forecasts. The Lyric is also surrounded by a backlight that changes between orange, blue, and green colorings, signifying if it is heating, cooling, or in an energy-saving mode.
Honeywell will start to ship the Lyric thermostat from August, priced at $279.