A father/daughter team basically built a system that is like NEST but for your heat vents. So it will shut off/open vents as needed, thus saving the costs of heating/cooling your entire house. Its using some arduino like clone for the hardware and talks to a “Spark” server (another opensource project I haven’t heard of). Apparently Spark Protocol is some sort of opensource device protocol. It ties into another protocol call CoAP, constrained Application Protocol, which is REST like protocol for embedded devices. Or I should say, the internet of things. CoAP looks like it has allot of support going for it.
Update: I can’t find a heat vent cover that has some sort of motor control in it to open/shut it. So….whatever they are using above in the picture, maybe custom.