There are a number of smart thermostats already on the market, including Nest from Google’s parent company Alphabet. Today, another connected thermostat maker, Ecobee, unveiled its latest product, the Ecobee4. What makes it stand out from Nest and other similar products is its built-in microphone, along with hardware and software that accepts voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.
Yes, now even your next thermostat may be able to listen to your commands and tell you what the latest news headlines are, along with sports scores, a way to play songs and much more. The Ecobee4 will even be able to hear these Alexa commands from across the room. Of course, you can order the Ecobee4 to handle thermostat tasks such as lowering or raising the house temperature, along with setting timers for those functions and more. The device has direct touch control support, or you can also operate it remotely with the Ecobee smartphone app.
It also comes with a separate room sensor that can be placed in another section of the house to monitor especially hot or cold locations. The $249 Ecobee4 is currently available for pre-order, but shipments are scheduled to begin very soon, on May 15.
In addition, The company showed off a preview of another product that will also have built-in support for Alexa. The Ecobee smart light switch will be the company’s first non-smart thermostat product, and will help to automate a home’s lighting by measuring the occupancy and daylight in rooms. Like its thermostats, Ecobee claims the smart light switch will help reduce a home’s overall energy use, not to mention the home owner’s power bill. No pricing was announced for the smart light switch, but it is supposed to be released later this year.