On the circuit

Ecobee becomes the first HomeKit Thermostat

By Jared Newman, Macworld 7/08/2015 1:59 PM Eastern
The first HomeKit thermostat
WHY THIS MATTERS

Remember when Nest started as a theromostat? This is a way to try out HomeKit and the Siri SmartHome. It's available at Amazon, if you want to charge it to your business under "education". And who doesn't want one more way to mock Siri? -Cynthia Wiseha

Connected thermostats are an easy way to make your home a little smarter, and a new HomeKit-supported version of Ecobee aims to make things even easier. The $250 Ecobee3 smart thermostat is available now through the Apple Store. Technically, Ecobee isn't the only thermostat that works with HomeKit, though it's the only one that doesn't require a separate hub device, such as Insteon's thermostat and HomeKit hub. Like other HomeKit-enabled products,Ecobee3 users can control the thermostat using Siri voice commands. HomeKit can also group multiple actions into “scenes,” for instance letting users turn down the heat and switch off connected lighting with a single command. With an Apple TV as a hub, users can control HomeKit devices with Siri from outside the house as well. Unfortunately for existing Ecobee users, there's currently no way to add HomeKit support to previous models. An FAQ on Ecobee’s website notes that HomeKit requires specific hardware, so upgrading existing models “is not something that is possible with a firmware or software patch.” For those with no interest in Apple's platform, Ecobee is selling the non-HomeKit model at a $20 discount. MORE@MacWorld

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