But Nest Laboratories, which features three Tech graduates, aims to change that. The Nest Learning Thermostat i s a sensor-driven, programmable device that learns about its user’s habits to better regulate temperatures.
Tech grads’ involvement with the startup has been somewhat of a family affair: Shige Honjo, EE 91, his wife Amy Honjo, MBA 04, and brother Hiro Honjo, EE 92, all work at the company. Amy handles program management, Hiro is a hardware engineer and Shige is the vice president of program management and manufacturing operations.
“Georgia Tech taught me … how to prioritize—much like what is needed in a consumer product development cycle,” says Shige, who began his career in the cellular phone industry and worked on the iPhone at Apple.
The Nest Learning Thermostat applies the principals and usability of mobile technology to the task of regulating home temperatures, which will lead to smaller energy bills for users and less of an impact on the environment. After 20 years in the cellphone industry, Shige says he has finally found something that he is “honestly more proud of working on.”