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Tado breathes new life into your old air conditioner

Another climate control startup gets funded on Kickstarter. Check out how tado’s intelligent cooling control can save your energy bills and make life more comfortable with the Internet of Things.


Household and enterprise climate control is one of the subtler ways through which companies and individuals are trying to make the earth greener. By reducing power consumption from unnecessary cooling or heating, we can reduce energy usage and thereby reduce our carbon footprints. While for most people, this will mean turning off the air conditioner or heater while not in use, the trend these days leans toward smartly controlling the devices depending on context.

This was cited as one of the reasons Google acquired NEST in early 2014. Apple’s climate control efforts are also underway with HomeKit, which will debut with iOS 8.

Going back to basics, however, legacy air conditioning devices are not likely to be Internet-connected. But many of these older air conditioners and heaters have remote control capability through infrared. Here’s where startups are trying to focus on: remotely controlling older A/Cs through their Infrared receivers.

Tado Inc‘s tado° Cooling intelligent AC control device enables users to automatically control their home climate control systems depending on context. The Munich, Germany-based startup has actually been marketing its remote control device for heaters across Europe for several years now. This time, Tado has developed a smart device designed to be installed within line-of-sight of air conditioning units, which will then smartly control the cooling system depending on need. Since the device is Internet-connected, users can also control their A/C from their smartphone or tablet, or just set tado to contextually-control the A/C to adjust to every need.

For instance, tado offers auto-off, pre-cooling, indoor presence detection and geo-location to determine if and when a user needs the room or home cooled or heated. The device also has a capacitive touch interface, which lets users adjust their cooling systems without the need to fiddle with their smartphones.

Tado launched its crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter with a target of $150,000. The project has since raised $204,287 from 1,601 backers when the campaign concluded on Wednesday, surpassing its target by 36 percent. Even with the crowd-funding campaign finished, the company is pre-selling the device for $149 apiece.

And since the project reached $200,000, the developers are promising to build a Windows Phone app, alongside the originally-planned Android and iOS apps. Devices should start shipping August 2014. Three Elite-Gold backers who pledged $1,999 or more are also going to be invited to Munich for Oktoberfest, accommodation and expenses included.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise applications and services. He is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team.

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