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  • Apple to Begin Sales of its First HomeKit-Enabled Thermostat Today

    Apple’s online store as well as its retail stores will start selling the ecobee3, the first Internet-connected thermostat compatible with the company’s iOS-based HomeKit framework. As noted by the folks over at The Verge, the $249 ecobee3 is one of the first smart thermostats to feature support for Apple’s connected home platform. It should be noted that a version of the ecobee3 is already on sale but the previous iteration lacked the verified chipsets certified for use with the HomeKit ecosystem.

    For those of you who didn’t know, Ecobee3 functions very similarly to the Nest’s Learning Thermostat with the capability of controlling a home’s HVAC system remotely through geofence triggering, voice input from Siri, scheduling and in-app parameters. When it comes to smart home monitoring, the system relies on specialized sensors that feed info about room temperature and occupancy to the ecobee3’s control unit.

    The Cupertino California company’s HomeKit framework promises iOS device users remote control over compatible smart home appliances which at this early stage is limited to HVAC and lighting fixtures. Future implementations are expected to include other home systems such as door locks, alarm systems, garage doors and more. The first wave of HomeKit products come from established industry names such as Insteon, iHome and Lutron, all of which announced availability of their hardware last month. The first round of reviews for the devices seems to be mixed as Apple’s Siri-reliant control scheme appears to be unreliable at times.

    As far as the ecobee3 goes, the company might be phasing out the original ecobee3 once the HomeKit-capable iteration sees a wide release. The company appears to be dropping prices on older models by $20 and the lowered price already appears to be live at various authorized resellers.

    Have you used a HomeKit system yet? Are you interested in using one? Share your thoughts below!

    Source: Ecobee via The Verge
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple to Begin Sales of its First HomeKit-Enabled Thermostat Today started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      I'm good with my $100 Honeywell programmable. I can still control it and adjust presets via my iPhone for a much better price point. All that geofencing and occupancy stuff is just gimmicky fluff to try to make the device seem more worthwhile, but the true savings you get from a programmable thermostat is all in the programming of your daily/weekly routine.

      In fact, I would think that the geofencing and other features would probably make your HVAC use LESS efficient? The true savings from programming only kicks in if you set it within a certain temperature range and for extended periods of time. If you're having your home temperature varying all over the place just because you're out of the house for an hour or two here and there, your system is going to be running less efficiently than if you kept a constant temperature.