Ecobee recently announced its latest thermostat called the Ecobee 4 at the Collision Conference. The Ecobee 4 is a four sided black polygon with smooth edges with a blue breathing light at the top. It also features a touch screen and app control. In what seems like an effort to compete with the likes of Nest, Ecobee added a built-in speaker that utilizes Amazon’s Alexa voice control.
Alexa Skills Built-In
The system will ship with about 12,000 Alexa skills, with a limited number of skills specifically meant to control the thermostat. Some of the thermostat centric skills include those that help adjust the room temperature.
Users can also use voice control through Alexa to do things like set timers, play the news, set reminders, fetch recipes and so on. The thermostat is like a wall mounted Echo device because you can use almost any Alexa skill available with it. You can also integrate the thermostat with Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and Apple HomeKit.
This means that you can set scenes that include the Ecobee 4 on your IFTTT app. Imagine setting a “good morning scene” where your smart security lights turn off, your Sonos speakers start playing, your window blinds open, and the Ecobee 4 thermostat adjusts the temperature.
The Nitty Gritty
The Ecobee 4 mounts on the wall just like the Nest Thermostat, which saves on space and reduces cluttering. Its sleek shape and color also make it look like a sophisticated wall ornament that adds to your interior design.
Amazon has the Ecobee 4 pre-order for $249 (set to release May 15th), aligning it with the Nest cost-wise. For those who already own the Echo or Echo Dot, the thermostat’s voice control feature is nothing new. But for people not yet familiar with home automation, the Ecobee 4 acts as an exciting introduction to the world of voice control automation.
Ecobee is also working on adding Amazon’s Alexa to its smart light switches that it will unveil later this year. The company claims that these smart light switches will be able to detect if there is someone in a room and respond accordingly. They will also be able to adjust the lights automatically depending on the amount of daylight illuminating the room. Experts believe that more Alexa-enabled third-party smart devices are coming in the future.
For more information about smart thermostats and smart light switches, visit our website today. And check out Ecobee’s video on their thoughts about voice-enabled smart homes: