The Nest Learning Thermostat is a touch-controlled thermostat designed to personalize home energy needs and help save as much as $173 per year on your energy bill, according to maker Nest Labs. Tony Fadell, who led the team that designed the iPod at Apple and contributed to the start of the iPhone project, is the designer behind this thermostat.

It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 per cent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn't kept up with advancements in technology and design, said Fadell. Nest Labs, his Silicon Valley startup, aims to bring a bit of iPod-esque cool to electricity management in the home - and to save homeowners a large amount of money.

The Nest thermostat can learn your preferred temperatures and daily schedule, adjust the temperature automatically when no one is at home, help you learn how to save on energy costs and can be controlled remotely via the Web or your smartphone.

Nest can learn your home's temperature preferences in about a week, according to Nest Labs. In the winter and fall, for example, all you have to do is turn the thermostat up when you need to, turn it down at night or when you leave home, and Nest will start figuring out your preferences and adjust by itself accordingly.

 Nest also uses its Wi-Fi connection to find out what the current temperature is in your area to gain more data about how outdoor temperatures affect how you adjust the temperature inside. The thermostat's auto-away feature will also turn down the temperature after two hours without detecting a human presence.

Nest features a 1.75-inch (diameter) display with 320-by-320 pixel resolution, built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery, 150-degree motion sensors to detect human presence, and 802.11 b/g/m Wi-Fi and ZigBee connectivity. Nest measure 3.2-inches wide, 1.44 inches deep and weighs 7 ounces. It costs $250.