ecobee, makers of smart thermostats, announced the latest iteration of its lineup this morning, the ecobee4 with Amazon Alexa integration.
Already similar to previous versions of ecobee, the big change for ecobee4 is this Amazon Alexa integration. ecobee products already support being controlled via an Amazon Echo, but with Alexa Voice Services built right into the thermostat, the “smartness” of the thermostat is getting a big boost. According to ecobee, you’ll be managing your home’s temperature, energy usage, as well as busy life via ecobee4.
Just like an Amazon Echo, the ecobee4 features far-field voice recognition. With it, you can adjust your temperature from anywhere in the room, set a kitchen timer, plan your commute, or get a briefing on the news. However, if you want to do things the old fashioned way, the ecobee4 continues to feature a digital touchscreen for manual input, as well as an app for Android and iOS devices for controlling it that way. And yes, ecobee4 supports ecobee’s room sensors for that housewide comfort.
To make this announcement even more special, ecobee also detailed upcoming Alexa-powered smart light switches. Set to be available later this year for an unknown price, these light switches take the place of ecobee’s room sensors, measuring occupancy of a room, plus the overall temperature. Each smart light switch is voice enabled with far-field recognition, allowing you to control your home’s comfort levels from wherever you are. It’s like having little Alexa portals throughout your home, but they also control your lights.
The price for ecobee4 is set at a reasonable $249. That might seem high, but considering a Nest runs you the same price, and doesn’t have Alexa built into it, the ecobee4 is extremely tantalizing.
Pre-orders are available today, with general availability beginning May 15.