Thermostats are, amazingly enough, one of the hottest items in home tech these days (yeah, no, I never expected to type that sentence, either), so it’s no surprise to see URC adding the THZ-100 Network Thermostat to its Total Control line. No, it’s not exactly the sexiest piece of kit we’ve seen (for all my grumblings about it lately, the Nest still has the “saucy looking thermostat” market locked down like Chernobyl), but it does have one thing that it now appears the Nest will never have: home automation interoperability.
Tie the $250 THZ-100 into a larger Total Control system, and not only will its two-way communication allow you to tweak its settings from your remote, keypads, touchscreens, and iOS devices–and, oh yeah, it actually has five physical buttons if you actually want to interact with the thing directly–you can also program it to talk to the drapes, for example, drawing them closed when the AC kicks on (or the temperature hits a certain level), or opening them when heat is required in the winter.
Another cool feature is Intelligent Comfort Recovery, which keeps an eye on your scheduled temperature settings, monitors the current environment, and slowly brings your home to the target temperature smartly and efficiently. You can also password protect it to keep unwanted paws off of the temperature settings (my mom would have pinched a kitten in the face for that feature), and it supports wired remote temperature sensors, to give your thermostat a more accurate gauge on actual temps around the house.
Also neat: if you have the THZ-100 connected to URC’s MRX-10 Advanced Network System Controller, you or your installer can program it via the internet.
Check out the video below for a big-picture look at the Total Control line.