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Bemo wants to Kickstart your old phone into a smart thermostat

Instead of chucking away your old iPhone or selling it on eBay, you can give it a new lease of life as a smart thermostat with Bemo. 

Rather than shell out for an expensive touchscreen thermostat, you can use something you already own which will more than likely have a higher quality display. 

The Bemo system consists of a hub which connects to your existing heating and air conditioners and to your phone via USB, keeping it constantly charged and connected. 

Bemo is environmentally friendly on two levels: It helps to reduce your heating use and it stops old phones from ending up in landfill
Bemo is environmentally friendly on two levels: It helps to reduce your heating use and it stops old phones from ending up in landfill

At least that’s the idea – the Bemo project is currently seeking cash from the crowd on Kickstarter. 

Owners Wise Labs are after $50,000 (£31,390) in order to get Bemo off the ground and is offering a full system to anyone who pledges $129 (£80). 

As well as turning old phones into thermostats, Wise Labs sees the devices becoming more than simple heat control units – it sees them becoming smart hubs for the whole home. 

“Originally we looked at revolutionising the world of thermostats by transforming the smartphone in a smart thermostat,” says the Kickstarter blurb.
 
“But working through various iterations of the product it became clear that the utility of this idea extends far beyond the world of thermostats.

“That’s when we set our vision to transforming smartphones and tablets, leveraging their capabilities to act as a smart thermostat alternative that we can grow into a home automation command center and smart hub (Internet of Things) device.”

A Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, given the Bemo treatment

With the exception of Nest’s round screen, the control panels of smart thermostats are not exactly detailed. Arguably they don’t have to be, but with Bemo aesthetics and your surroundings can be taken into account. 

Various colour schemes will mean your display can match your living room’s decor and the wall-mounted clip will be sold in black and white variants. 

Another bonus of using an old phone is that you’ll be able to issue commands by sending texts to your old number. 

You don’t have to have an old SIM in your phone for it to work, but it’s a useful back-up in case your internet connection fails or your wireless router goes on the blink. The same thinking underpinned Climote’s decision to embed a SIM card in its smart heating hub

Climote’s co-founder Derek Roddy even compared companies like Scottish Power selling smart heating systems to mobile networks selling phones; Wise Labs seem to have taken the idea of smart heater-as-phone literally. 

The Bemo app also lets homes and offices with multiple air conditioners to control the temperature of multiple rooms on the go. 

While Bemo is aimed primarily at the US market, Wise Labs is working on a UK version – British Kickstarters will need to pledge $49 (£30.75) for the ‘UK Founders Club’ perk, which will give you a discount on future UK-compatible products.

Bemo will support iOS and Android devices from launch. The ability to turn an old Windows Phone into a thermostat will be added as a stretch goal later. 

At the time of writing, only $2,788 (£1,749) has been pledged. With 34 days to go, there’s still time for Bemo to get all the cash it needs. 

Check out the Bemo video below and the Bemo Kickstarter page here

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