Toronto-based Ecobee has just announced the fourth generation of their smart thermostat, with the ecobee4. The new thermostat has Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service built-in and retails Apple HomeKit compatibility from previous models.
The ecobee4 has similar rounded square design like previous ecobee3 device and has a 3.5-inch touchscreen. The new model adds super sensitive far-field microphones for speaking voice commands to Alexa, such as controlling the ecobee4’s temperature. Ecobee is working alongside Amazon, to ensure that the ecobee4 can do everything that a regular Amazon Echo can do.
Since the ecobee4 has Alexa built-in, it won’t be making its way to Canada just yet, partly because Amazon hasn’t brought their Echo devices to Canada.
Here’s what an ecobee representative said about the ecobee4’s Canadian availability, “At this time, Amazon Alexa Voice Service is not available in Canada. Therefore, to ensure the best possible customer experience, the ecobee4 will only be sold in the US. If Alexa Voice Service becomes available in Canada, ecobee4 will as well. We know Amazon’s goal is to have Alexa everywhere Amazon is, and in the case of Canada, that would include ecobee4.”
Ecobee’s main leverage over the Nest, is it’s room sensors, which take the temperature of a particular room, to then send it back to the thermostat, to accurately cool or heat your house.
“We are committed to building technology that makes customers’ lives simpler and better. Technology that allows our customers to focus on the things that matter – their families and moments they share. The voice-enabled ecobee4 smart thermostat and smart light switch bring that promise to life,” said ecobee President and CEO Stuart Lombard. “More than just individual products, ecobee4 and the smart light switch work together to provide better comfort and savings, while allowing customers to ask for almost anything from anywhere in their home.”
You can connect up to 32 room sensors to the ecobee4 and one is included in the box. I’ve been using the ecobee3 since December and it’s been working great and if you have multiple room sensor, they will be able to tell if someone is in that room and adjust the temperature accordingly.
Ecobee is also planning on releasing a smart light switch, which will have the same far-field microphones that are in the ecobee4. This will allow users to control the temperature and talk to Alexa from anywhere in the house.
“Today’s announcement is our first step towards delivering a whole-home-voice experience for customers, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Lombard. “In our 10th year as a company, we are still committed to purpose-driven innovation that re-imagines the home – now with the ecobee4 and later this year with the smart light switch. These innovations give customers the ability to be more comfortable, have more control and save money – all while doing right by our planet, something we’re incredibly proud of.”
The ecobee4 is available for pre-order today in the US and will be available on May 15th for $249 USD.