Cheaper Nest Thermostat Coming With Soli-Like Gesture Control

Nest Thermostat E 1 e1504019491188

Google's next Nest Thermostat could be its cheapest offering to date. The company is reportedly working on a device that'll cost just $129 when it launches "in the coming weeks," Bloomberg reports. By comparison, google's flagship Nest Thermostat costs $249 while the current affordable offering, called Nest Thermostat E, is priced at $169.

According to the report, the new model will have a plastic casing, much like the Thermostat E. The flagship model gets a metal housing. The upcoming version will also do away with some touch-based controls. Instead, it'll come with gesture recognition abilities.

The device will pack a sensor similar to the Soli system in the Google Pixel 4, the report adds citing some anonymous people familiar with the plans. Last year's Pixel phone could detect motion at close range using a specialized radar-based sensor.

Google's new Nest thermostat will reportedly function in a similar manner. It'll read the user's hand movements for completing certain functions. Users will be able to control the temperature by swiping their hands up or down near the device. Other gesture-based controls may include the ability to navigate through the menu by moving hands toward or away from it.

Upcoming Nest Thermostat may include Project Soli radar and gesture control

While the Soli technology is missing from Google's Pixel 5 series phones, Rick Osterloh, SVP of hardware at Google, had recently said that the technology will find usage in the future. He didn't reveal whether the tech would return on a smartphone or some other device. However, he suggested that Project Soli radar and gestures were just too expensive for the Pixel 5 series. This seems interestingly given that the upcoming Nest Thermostat will be a budget offering from the company.

From the looks of it, this appears to be the very device that was spotted at FCC last month with a 60GHz radar transmitter. The FCC documents revealed the model number G4CVZ for the device. Along with the radar transmitter, it will also include support for 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. Not much information is available about this gadget yet, but the pricing plans are certainly in line with Google's strategy of making its hardware more affordable.

The company started launching cheaper Pixel phones last year and went on to reduce the starting price of the flagship models this year. At $699, the Pixel 5 is $100 cheaper than last year's model. The recently launched Nest Audio speaker also undercuts the competition with a $99 price tag. Launching a thermostat at $129 will allow Google to better compete with rival solutions.

On that note, the company is also long overdue for a newer Nest Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat E is the latest model and it launched back in 2017. Its most-recent flagship model arrived all the way back in 2015, not long after it acquired Nest. It's unclear when the new model would arrive but that'll likely happen sooner than later.