updated 10:49 pm EST, Fri January 10, 2014
Competitor to Nest build Aura, iBeacon- and NFC-powered room monitors
Allure Energy, which makes a smart thermostat to compete against the better-known Nest, has used its presence at CES to show off a new add-on to its EverSense system that employs Apple's Bluetooth LE-powered iBeacon technology. The new product, Aura, lets users adjust room temperature by simply coming within range of the iBeacon, such as entering a given room, carrying an iOS device. The system will then adjust the temperature to a pre-determined range.
The sensors, about half the size of an iPhone, can be attached in any room and use either NFC or Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology to run for around two years between battery changes. Allure points out that traditional thermostats tend to be placed in hallways and other areas where ambient temperatures can be quite different than more commonly-occupied rooms like a kitchen or den, with the Aura solving that issue.
The Aura can also trigger events such as the display of current outdoor weather conditions, photos or the playing of pre-selected music options out of the EverSense thermostat unit. The main EverSense unit is priced at $400, while the pricing on the Aura iBeacons hasn't yet been disclosed. Aura is expected to begin shipping later this year as a separate purchase for owners of the EverSense. Apple has been quietly but effectively promoting iBeacon technology for a variety of retail and personal devices.