Just because a lot of app-enabled “smart” devices are constantly hitting the market, that doesn’t mean you need to repurchase everything in your home to get things up-to-date. Well, at least not for air conditioners this sizzling summer. ConEdison and ThinkEco have teamed up to offer New York City customers free “smartAC Modlet” kits that can convert any existing air conditions into an Internet-connected one, allowing users to control the temperature from their mobile devices.
The modlet kits are part of the coolNYC program designed to let ConEd customers better manage their power consumption. The kit comes with a power adapter that plugs into either window or standing air conditioners, and a USB receiver to connect the machine to the Web. From there, customers can adjust temperature from a thermostat remote or via their smartphone through a custom app. Customers can also track their consumption online to see real-time usage displayed as a visual graph.
The ThinkEco team promoted the device at CE Week in New York and said ConEdison customers in the city are eligible to receive a modlet kit for as many air conditioners as they own in the household. Customers can also sign up for $25 rebates to credit back to their electricity accounts as an incentive to join coolNYC. For residents outside of the Big Apple, you’re not entirely out of luck. The smartAC Modlet kit might not be free for you guys, but you can buy them online at $140 a set so you, too, can turn your AC into an app-enabled machine.
The modlet kit is a neat way of converting your regular machines into smart devices, especially when your apartment does not come with built-in central air. Since the modlets are portable, they also go wherever you’re headed, making it convenient for renters or perpetual travelers. They may not look as snazzy as the Nest, but it’s one step closer to creating a smart home on a budget.
ThinkEco also sells regular modlets to help customers track consumption of appliances other than air conditioners on the Web – you just won’t be able to control them through an app. This latter version sells for just $50.
The smartAC Modlet kit is on sale today, with apps available on both iOS and Android.