The Air Conditioner That Pays Attention

The Aros isn’t a tool for cooling a room; it’s a tool for cooling people.

Global temperatures and home energy costs are rising as median incomes shrink, meaning some of us may eventually have to choose between melting in our living rooms or settling for a used BMW. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to come to that thanks to invention incubator Quirky, which has crowdsourced a solution: a smart AC unit that knows the perfect temperature for any situation.

The Aros decides whether or not to cool your home using upcoming weather forecasts, your schedule, previous billing cycles, motion sensors, and some basic math. Tell it how much you’re willing to pay and it will operate at the sweet spot between cost and cool. One Wi-Fi-connected unit cools up to 350 square feet and is operable remotely via mobile device. If that’s not enough to convince you it’s time to ditch that hazard in the window, the units design will do it. The Aros eschews the dullness of most AC units with a sleek, minimalist facade featuring an LED display that fades when not in use. Oh, and this smart air conditioner costs the same as a dumb one.  [$279;]