Decrease the target temperature the further I am from home , increase it as I get closer
AdminSkylark Support (Admin, Skylark) commented
Hi guys! Jason, the new owner of Skylark here. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in on this feature, it's awesome to see everyone discussing it =)
It's a new year, so I'm getting closer to deciding what features should get included in the next update to Skylark. In general, my goal is to make the app a more useful tool to more people, without overcomplicating it - one of the things about it that I loved about it the first time I encountered it.
I think in this thread, there are actually two different suggestions getting mixed up together - one is asking for the temperature of your home to be directly controlled by your distance from your home location, and the other is that we find some way to simply ensure your home's heating system has enough time to reach your desired temperature when you arrive home.
In regards to the first request, I'm inclined to agree with Rufessor that building such a feature would take a lot of development work and would cause Skylark to likely suck up a lot more battery in order to actively be monitoring your distance from your home. Now, I'm not averse to a bit of hard work, but I'm also struggling to envision a scenario where someone would actually need to tie the precise temperature of their home to their distance from it - if you're not home, why does it matter what the exact temperature is there right now? (It sounds like the old "if a tree falls in the woods..." riddle) ;)
The second request is something that we'll need to think about, although longer heating times are an inherent trait of radiant systems - funnily enough, this seems like a problem that's actually better solved by a smart device that predicts when you're likely to be home - just like Nest prides itself on - instead of switching your status based on your location.
I've decided not to include this feature in Skylark, and am going to close down this idea thread, but I wanted to make sure I explained the thinking behind my decision to you all, as you so kindly contributed to the discussion. But if you're passionate about this feature, please do shoot us a note and give me a piece of your mind, I love talking about this stuff! =)
Thanks again for your support guys, again, it's great to see you all helping to make Skylark better!
I vote for this too! Would be a great feature.
In reply to rufessor. Your thoery does not hold up because how do you set your geofencing at the moment? At the moment if you had your geofencing set to 5km, then your thermostat would heat your house fully, regardless if you stop at the grocery store, then stop for coffe or meet a friend. So in the current scenario your thermostat would heat to you set temperature (lets say 21C) as soon as you got to the grocery store.
The idea with this feature is that when you are within 5km (the grocery store) you could have you thermostat set to 18C, when you then hit the coffe place then it could go up to 19C and then when you hit your friends place down the road it would go to 20C and finally when you get home it would go to 21C.
Lets say all these stops took you 2 hours. In the current setup you would have run your thermostat at 21C for 2 hours whilst with the proposed new way it would have gradually gotten warmer until you got home, saving you energy.
This feature would work great for me who for example lives in the city centre. At the moment if I pop out to lets say a bar, then I can be there for 6 hours but my heating will stay on. Would be great if it could drop it just a few degrees until I got closer to my home and then start heating at full again.
There is a Thermostat with Geolocation that does this already but I can't recall the name of it, It would be a great additional feature for the Nest.
Sorry- I don't see the value here. I just see massive headache in development and use. What if I drive to the grocery store and then stop for a coffee and meet a friend, but am 5 miles from home. Would it start heating the house cause I am close? What if I then drive towards my house to go see a friend and stop there for an hour or two (but am now 1 mile away?)... would it then start heating the house as I got closer... but what about when I stopped....
What is I work 40 miles away but usually it takes me 1.5 hours to get home (traffic) but some days its 35... so how the heck do you "know" when to start ramping the temp up? Is it when I am 30 miles away? 20, 10? Do you track my average approach speed and calculate it dynamically? What if I stop along the way to meet a friend for dinner one day and the restaurant is 2 miles from my house?
Really, really, really tough to see how this could ever be made to work in reality. Just a mess from a development standpoint. Life if messy... if your so reliable that you must have a perfectly warm house when you arrive and you arrive every day at the same time from the same distance, just program it.
Mark R commented
Great idea! I think setting a lower temperature rather than setting away when you leave would be better. The problem with setting to 'away' is that Nest seems to treat 'away' as if you were on vacation (rather than auto away which seems to automatically return to schedule). Even if I set my return geofence to a 10 minute drive away, then my house can take too long to heat up. What I need is even if I am away, the auto schedule to be followed so my house is warm for when I do return home.
I was just talking about this exact feature the other day. Defiantly I want this.
Once you Nest has figured out the 'true radiant' time it will tell you on screen how long it will take to heat your house to the required temperature, eg, mine says 20 mins to get to a temp of 22 degrees.
Using this time I can work out how far i need to set the Skylark geofencing in order for Nest to heat my home by the time I walk in the door. If travelling by car, 20 mins is gonna be about 5 miles, if I rode my bike I can drop it down to 2 miles etc.
This would be great
Our house takes a long time to heat up in the winter also. I am loving the Skylark App so far, but controlling the house temperature in line with distance from house would mean we come home to a lovely warm house...
Skylark and Nest - double Genius!
Our house takes a good while to heat up... This would be useful