Ecobee’s newest flagship product the ecobee4 is now available to Canadians, just in time for the winter season.
A growing number of North American consumers are not only embracing intelligent temperature control but also smart home products and the Internet of Things. Ecobee’s new smart thermostat is the most technologically proficient yet, as it comes with enhanced sensors, voice control and more.
One of the most attractive elements of the ecobee4 is the integrated Amazon Alexa voice controls. In older models, customers could use a separate Echo, or even Siri, to control their thermostat.
Now, ecobee is harnessing far-field voice technology to put a virtual assistant right inside the thermostat, meaning users can control the temperature with a simple vocal request. It’s even possible to order pizza or put on music through the thermostat as well, in addition to any Alexa functionalities.
One of the best parts about the ecobee4 is that it comes in at $329, the same price the ecobee3 was when it debuted.
Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard wanted to find a way for users to interact with the cloud services they use on an everyday basis in a natural way, without the need to pull out a phone every time.
“What we try to do innovation-wise is create a significantly better product than the previous generation, but at the same cost,” explains Lombard.
“It was all about figuring out how to get a great voice experience in a small package at the same price point. We’re trying to create phenomenal value for consumers because having customers who are huge fans is a big part of how we think, our strategy and our roadmap,” he added.
This idea formed around the convergence of the three constellations of a connected home: security, energy and entertainment. The ecobee4 offers access to everything a smart home needs while sticking at a manageable price point.
As part of the package, the new product also comes with a room sensor to help detect the hot and cold spots in a particular environment. For newcomers to the smart thermostat world, it also sports the same research that shows ecobee will reduce heating and cooling bills by 23 per cent on average.
The company certainly has competitors in Nest and Honeywell, but the way ecobee separates itself is through the continued application of AI and machine learning to create what Lombard calls “magical experiences,” especially looking forward to the new smart light switches the company will release in Q1 2018.
“Those cases may involve us recognizing you turn the light switch on every time you enter a room,” says Lombard. “So we might ask you, ‘Do you want to enable auto-on?’ These features champion ecobee’s space in the market.”
“We get the opportunity to anticipate what you want and with a high degree of certainty come up with results that are really good and suit you. We’ll make smarter decisions with more systems, working together to create a better home,“ he adds.
Ecobee also announced integration with Google Assistant, meaning users can control their thermostat with Android phones and smart speakers like the Google Home. The goal is to make sure ecobee works with any and all smart devices, so there is no hindrance towards creating a fully connected home.
The ecobee4 can be ordered online through the company’s site or Amazon or purchased in-person at Home Depot or Lowes.