Few people think of thermostats when they think innovation, but this sleek plug-in thermostat is pretty snazzy. Because most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it, Nest will learn your schedule, program itself, and can be controlled from your phone. So if you need the house to be a certain temperature by 6 a.m. when you wake up, Nest will figure out the best time to get the heating or cooling to kick in. The Palo Alto, Calif.,-based Nest promises the $250 device can lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 20%. "It's expensive," says Stevens of Engadget. "But for those who care a lot about aesthetics and who don't want to deal with a traditional programmable thermostat, it can be a good investment."

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated March 27 2013 06:12 PM ET
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