There’s a new smart thermostat from Honeywell

Nest has some new competition from Honeywell. The company has announced they are beginning to ship a new smart thermostat called Lyric through HVAC contractors and will make the thermostat available in Lowe’s stores in August.

Everybody seems to be charging into the home automation field these days. Apple announced they will be entering the fray, Google is already shipping their Nest smart thermometer and now Honeywell will be playing the same game.

The Lyric smart thermometer has a number of interesting features beyond simply raising or lowering the temperature in your house. First off, since this is a ‘smart’ device you can control it using a smartphone running iOS or Android.

The Lyric also has a feature they call geofencing. Geofencing allows the Lyric to change your settings based on whether you (or at least your phone) are in or out of a preset distance from your home. You can set the device to either a 7-mile or a 500-foot perimeter. When you leave the house, the thermostat will change the temperature to a preset of your choosing to save energy. When you enter back into the radius of Lyric, it will take note and kick the system back on to your comfy temp.

The device has a Fine Tune feature that makes it even more accurate by checking indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity and the upcoming weather forecast in order to tweak the system to make your home as comfortable as possible.

There are also a number of pre-set profiles you can create for different situations such as lowering the temperature when you go to bed or on vacation.

The Lyric does have some cool features but with a price of $279 it would have to demonstrate some mighty impressive energy savings in order to have it pay for itself. I’m sure Honeywell will be able to come up with some marketing stats to justify Lyric’s price, but the people who buy these things are more interested in the high-tech gimmickry.

I can see the owners of all these smart home toys hosting cocktail parties simply so they can drag people from room to room showing off their fancy new thermostats and electronic locks and home security cams and automated coffee makers.

I also imagine that within months we are going to see dozens of similar products from the far east that will do pretty much everything these devices do but will cost much, much less.