Apple Store now selling ecobee3 smart thermostat, stokes 'smarthome' competition

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
Smarthome device maker ecobee scored coveted Apple Store shelf space as online and brick-and-mortar outlets on Monday started sales of the ecobee3 Internet-connected thermostat, one of the first products selected by Apple's retail arm to challenge Google-owned Nest.




The ecobee3 debuted in September as an answer to the industry's lack of support for multi-room spaces, something the company calls a fundamental design flaw in all thermostats. Instead of reading temperature from a single location, such as a hallway, the ecobee3 connects with up to 32 wireless remote sensors to automatically adjust HVAC settings in mulitple rooms.

As with other smart home thermostats, ecobee's device can be accessed and controlled via app, allowing for scheduling, remote control and off-site monitoring. With an iPhone or cellular-connected iPad, users are able to send commands to their system from anywhere with a data connection.

The ecobee3 continuously monitors air conditioner hardware and can send out alerts when something goes awry. Other notification options include temperature spikes and regular service reminders.

So-called smart thermostats have been around for some time, but it wasn't until the slick looking Nest Learning Thermostat first debuted as an Apple Store exclusive that the sector took off. Nest Labs, cofounded by former Apple exec Tony Fadell and engineer Matt Rogers, subsequently launched a connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector called Protect before being bought out by Google last year for $3.2 billion.

While Nest products still remain on Apple Store shelves, the ecobee3 will likely bring competition to the space with a rich feature set and $249.95 price tag, identical to Nest's Learning Thermostat.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    I'm intrigued. I've always wondered about additional sensors for different locations around the house so I'm glad it's finally being addressed.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,046member

    A 2-pack of remote sensors is another $79 but you can buy the ecobee3 with 3 remote sensors for $313 (the ecobee3 comes with one remote sensor). That's a stiff price but not as bad as the Nest smoke detectors. Of course, I don't believe a single ecobee3 can control an HVAC that includes multiple zones so all you're getting with the remotes is something that will work even when you have an ironing board with a hot iron near the only thermostat. I just wish these units wouldn't cost as much as a regular laptop (sorry, cheap PC but these thermostats aren't really doing that much). Sell them for a third of the price and you'd sell 10x as many.

  • Reply 3 of 33
    I think the Nest does the same thing with multiple Protect units around your house acting as temperature sensors.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Definitely not as attractive as Nest. It looks like an Apple TV clone.

    tlevier wrote: »
    I'm intrigued. I've always wondered about additional sensors for different locations around the house so I'm glad it's finally being addressed.

    I always thought Nest missed the boat with the branding of Nest Eggs that could be set where ever in the home to get a better idea of various temperatures and movement.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,469member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tlevier View Post



    I'm intrigued. I've always wondered about additional sensors for different locations around the house so I'm glad it's finally being addressed.



    The Honeywell Prestige (and newer Prestige 2) thermostat has had this capability for years and is much easier to use than a Nest. The Honeywell also avoids the inaccuracy of "learning" people's comings and goings when they move about places within the house that Google... I mean Nest... can't see you. I tried a Nest and it was frequently not turning on the AC when it should, just because it couldn't see down the hall and around a corner that someone was in the house sweltering.

     

    Nest released its "AirWave" technology a while back for homes with AC, but Honeywell already had this for years and uses it for AC and heat. A lot of what people think is new/unique to Nest was already available from Honeywell. Furthermore, the cute design of the Nest is actually difficult to use for anything other than setting the temperature; it's much like the horrible Samsung Gear user interface. The Honeywell Prestige interface is easy to use like an iPad.

  • Reply 6 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    They should offer a trade ins for Nests, I'd gladly ditch my in house Google spy.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    The Honeywell Prestige (and newer Prestige 2) thermostat has had this capability for years and is much easier to use than a Nest. The Honeywell also avoids the inaccuracy of "learning" people's comings and goings when they move about places within the house that Google... I mean Nest... can't see you. I tried a Nest and it was frequently not turning on the AC when it should, just because it couldn't see down the hall and around a corner that someone was in the house sweltering.


     

    the learning mode is optional on a nest. its ridiculously easy to program a schedule, which is what I've done since day 1.

  • Reply 8 of 33
    shsfshsf Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    They should offer a trade ins for Nests, I'd gladly ditch my in house Google spy.



    Googlespeak please: copresence

  • Reply 9 of 33
    davendaven Posts: 528member
    Is it just me but these products are too rich for my blood. I just don't see a reasonable cost/benefit outcome.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    I agree with the previous post... ecobee could have a marketing coup on their hands if they exchanged a Nest thermostat for ecobee at no charge!!!! Besides, ecobee would get a new customer and the likelihood of making money once the customer purchases sensors (something Nest greatly lacks!)
  • Reply 11 of 33



    No it does not...  I tried them and ended up returning them...

  • Reply 12 of 33
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    They should offer a trade ins for Nests, I'd gladly ditch my in house Google spy.

     

    Count me in too...

  • Reply 13 of 33

    I'm never paying $250 for a thermostat.

  • Reply 14 of 33
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    I'm never paying $250 for a thermostat.

    What if it saves you more than the cost of purchase and installation in heating and cooling costs over its lifetime?
  • Reply 15 of 33

    I have one of these and I had the previous ecobee.   

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post



    Is it just me but these products are too rich for my blood. I just don't see a reasonable cost/benefit outcome.



    I have one of these and the main benefit is being able to set the temp without getting off the couch or getting out of bed.  (yes I'm lazy)  

     

    It does save heating/cooling costs though as it learns your house and will conserve energy when you're not there or if you setup a vacation schedule.  I'm not sure if they really end up paying for themselves, but they are a nice luxury.

     

    I also had the previous ecobee.  One benefit over the nest is they've never bricked my thermostat with a software update.

  • Reply 16 of 33
    lowepglowepg Posts: 106member
    Yikes....

    I have 3 zones (3 distinct AC units, 1 for each floor), so Id need to drop $750 for the bare bones and then another couple hundred for a few sensors per zone?

    Oy.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    What if it saves you more than the cost of purchase and installation in heating and cooling costs over its lifetime?
    I have been using a Tado system for a year. Typically it is saving me 0.50 to 1.00 pounds a day, so I am on target to payback of 249 pounds within 2 years.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    solipsismy wrote: »
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    I'm never paying $250 for a thermostat.

    What if it saves you more than the cost of purchase and installation in heating and cooling costs over its lifetime?

    How could you ever tell?

    If saving money is that important, it's very easy to turn a thermostat down a couple of degrees and put a jumper on.
  • Reply 19 of 33

    Since I installed nests in my house our bills have dropped significantly.  Enough to pay for them in 2 years.  Most brand name thermostats that do less are just as expensive.  I will be selling my Nests online and switching to these.  For some reason a sour taste is in my mouth since they were bought by Google.

  • Reply 20 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    shsf wrote: »

    Googlespeak please: copresence

    LOL
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