The most OK thermostat

It’s not often that I find something even remotely decent in my new field of electric heating, HVAC and controls, but Carrier finally released a product that looks design. Unfortunately, the controls under the cover look like they were carried over from a 20 year old design. On the other hand, the thumbnail shots of the computer-based programing software look pretty Apple-ish.

I don’t understand why they mainly profile it with the silver cover. They’re all about beauty and class, and the saddlebrush and espresso covers really appeal to me in that way. The silver cover, however, is still the same boring thermostat you see everywhere.

I REALLY like the fact they have a flashcard that you can put in your computer and then program your thermostat. I find it very hard and unintuitive in my current thermostat to program every hour of a week with only one (!) button.

I like the idea of the easy link to my computer, but why would be nice to have the option of a wifi link - you could have a simple web page to edit your settings which you could access from anywhere.

But, I don’t think there is anything new or even designed in the control panel - you can buy light and plug fixtures from a range of different companies which use an IML or metal clip-on to match your room.

mvisbeek: I think they push the silver because that has been the color most talked about recently. It also links to the metallic covers of Apple products. ie, the decision was probably taken by marketing, not design.

me: wifi would be cool, but it would it would take more space & increase the price. I agree that there has been customization in the electric light and plug fixtures, but not as much in thermostats. Honeywell has a couple of lines with multiple faceplates, although they are all solid colors. Not as interesting in my opinion.

I understand that colour covers may be something that had not been applied specifically to central heating control panels before, but it has been around the fixtures market for a while. It’s not a massive leap to make, in fact it probably came from “marketing” rather than “design”

The point I was trying to make is that the role of a designer in this type of product really shouldn’t be to suggest new colours and textures, or even physical shape for the physical fitting - it should be to look at the system and find the opportunities for innovation. Where is the most value added?