We're more than a year out from when Apple first announced its HomeKit platform for developers, and while a few devices that actually take advantage of it have gone on sale, one of the most obvious areas of integration hasn't seen a product released, until now. We're talking, of course, about the humble thermostat.
The Ecobee3 smart thermostat has been available for pre-order for some time, and now those orders are finally starting to ship. Even better, the Ecobee3 will now also be available at Apple Stores throughout North America, should you want to buy one in person.
Much like the popular Nest thermostat, the Ecobee3 aims to save homeowners money by detecting whether anyone is around and adjusting the temperature accordingly. "Ordinary thermostats read the temperature in only one room, but are supposed to deliver comfort in all rooms. Ecobee3 remote sensors deliver the right temperature in the rooms that matter most," the product page reads.
Unlike your boring old thermostat, the Ecobee3 features a 320 x 480 full-color LCD for its controls. And now, with the HomeKit integration, Ecobee3 users can rely on Siri for simple changes without having to use the built-in controls at all.
HomeKit is promising, but we haven't yet got a glimpse of how effective it will be once you're using multiple connected devices. Apple plans to make HomeKit easier to use by adding iCloud support for HomeKit in iOS 9 and making HomeKit support native in the next version of the Apple Watch.
The Ecobee3 sells for $250 and includes one sensor. Additional sensors can be bought in a two-pack for $80, though you can save a few bucks by buying a bundle that includes the Ecobee3 and three sensors for $313. If you want to save even more and don't need HomeKit integration, you can currently get $20 off the original model on the Ecobee website.