Honeywell introduces first voice-activated home thermostat

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 8:46 PM

The device recognizes verbal commands to warm up or cool down homes.

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Honeywell’s new thermostat with voice control will cost about $349.

Honeywell launched its own version of Siri on Thursday when it introduced its industry’s first voice-activated thermostat, a system that will heat up or cool down homes with the simple chirp of “Hello, thermostat” followed by a request.

Honeywell’s new “Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control” recognizes a list of voice commands such as “make it 4 degrees warmer” or “make it much cooler,” even when the request is uttered from across the room.

Once installed, the cloud-based system is programmed to recognize the homeowner’s voice. Over time, Honeywell officials said, the device will accept an increasing number of verbal commands as it interacts more and more with the homeowner. The temperature also can be changed remotely through a smartphone.

Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell’s Golden Valley-based environmental and combustion controls business, cheered the innovation.

“Honeywell created the first programmable thermostat, the first touch-screen thermostats and the first with a color customizable screen,” she said. “Now we are the first with voice control.”

Honeywell expects the new device to be a benefit to busy homeowners, and to those with visual impairments.

The system will be available in November and cost about $349.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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