Apple Stores to start sales of first HomeKit-enabled thermostat on Tuesday

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
Apple online and brick-and-mortar stores on Tuesday will start selling ecobee3, the first Internet-connected thermostat compatible with Apple's iOS-based HomeKit framework.




As noted by The Verge, the $249 ecobee3 is one of the first smart thermostats to feature support for Apple's connected home platform. A version of ecobee3 is already on sale, but lacks wireless chipsets certified for use with the HomeKit ecosystem.

Ecobee3 functions much like Nest's Learning Thermostat and is capable of controlling a home's HVAC system remotely through geofence triggering, Siri voice input, scheduling and in-app parameters. For smart home monitoring, the system relies on specialized sensors that feed information about room temperature and occupancy to ecobee3's control unit.

HomeKit 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 door locks, alarm systems, garage doors and more.

The first wave of HomeKit products came from established industry names like Insteon, iHome and Lutron, which announced availability of lighting control hardware last month. Initial reviews have been lukewarm, however, as Apple's Siri-reliant control scheme is at times unreliable.

AppleInsider went hands-on with Lutron's Caseta Wireless dimmer switch and came away impressed by the hardware's potential, but disappointed at HomeKit's somewhat buggy user experience.

While not confirmed, it seems ecobee might be phasing out the original ecobee3 once the HomeKit version sees wide release, as the company is dropping prices on older models by $20. The lower price is already live at authorized resellers Best Buy and Amazon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member
    I think home kit will need at least another year or so to mature and reach its potential, both in terms of API and product support.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    "I have a great idea... Let's give our new HomeKit-enabled model the same name as the old one. That should bode well with customers, and I don't think anyone will ever get confused and buy the wrong one!"
  • Reply 3 of 29

    Home appliances, including thermostats, typically last 10 to 20 years. This seem to be at odds with tech gadgets that need to be replaced every two years. Does anyone think that whatever devices Apple is selling 2035 will be compatible with that thermostat or will it have been tossed in the trash by 2020?

  • Reply 4 of 29
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 551member
    About time. HomeKit sounded good last year and I hope it will be. But implementation is much slower than I expected. I just hope there won't be too many new panels and logins required. The various iCloud services are convoluted enough.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    Technically the insteon thermostat would be the first homekit controlled one right? since the insteon hub is homekit compatible.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,596member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post



    About time. HomeKit sounded good last year and I hope it will be. But implementation is much slower than I expected. I just hope there won't be too many new panels and logins required. The various iCloud services are convoluted enough.

    Clearly, you have never been involved in the product development process of a consumer electronics/appliance product. Fact is that delivering a product that implements a new standard, developed by another company, in less than a year is pretty remarkable.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    This or a similar company should offer a special deal for Nest owners wanting to exit the Google eco system. I'd certainly change out my Nest in a heart beat with a decent financial incentive. I bought the Nest because I thought it was destined to be part of the Apple ecosystem and was very sad when Tony Fadell went to the dark side.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,908member
    GrangerFX wrote: »
    Home appliances, including thermostats, typically last 10 to 20 years. This seem to be at odds with tech gadgets that need to be replaced every two years. Does anyone think that whatever devices Apple is selling 2035 will be compatible with that thermostat or will it have been tossed in the trash by 2020?

    Now that you said it, this is another reason I have up home automation years ago technology was chaining so fast and often that software you were using does not work on the new computers and so on. I found myself keeping an old computer alive as I tried to find a new solution that still work with my installed automation system.

    After spending thousands putting equipment in I do not want to keep upgrading as technology keeps moving forward.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 551member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

    Clearly, you have never been involved in the product development process of a consumer electronics/appliance product. Fact is that delivering a product that implements a new standard, developed by another company, in less than a year is pretty remarkable.


     

    Well spotted. No, I have never been involved in product development. If I were, I maybe would let third parties know about something like home kit before I make a public announcement about it.

  • Reply 10 of 29
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

     

     

    Well spotted. No, I have never been involved in product development. If I were, I maybe would let third parties know about something like home kit before I make a public announcement about it.




    Why would you assume they weren't informed in advance? Let's leave product development to the developers and Apple.

  • Reply 11 of 29
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 551member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wigby View Post

     



    Why would you assume they weren't informed in advance? Let's leave product development to the developers and Apple.




    I did not assume this. mike1 did this.

  • Reply 12 of 29
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    GrangerFX wrote: »
    Home appliances, including thermostats, typically last 10 to 20 years. This seem to be at odds with tech gadgets that need to be replaced every two years. Does anyone think that whatever devices Apple is selling 2035 will be compatible with that thermostat or will it have been tossed in the trash by 2020?

    i don't know what devices "need' to be replaced every two years. many people replace their phone every two years, but they don't need to. my parents don't. i myself don't replace my laptops or desktops for many years, 5+. i got a new laptop in 2014 to replace my 2008.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    macapfel wrote: »
    Well spotted. No, I have never been involved in product development. If I were, I maybe would let third parties know about something like home kit before I make a public announcement about it.

    hey thats a great idea, then they can leak it rather than you announcing it at your dev event. where, you know, the devs from these companies will be to hear about the new things you're going to announce.

    :rolleyes:

    no. the proper place to announce something like HK was the dev event they announced it at. its not like a new software API -- you can't invite the guys from EA on stage to show a demo app. no, hardware and firmware has to be built and that takes time. if you feel a year was too much time you're nuts. I've launched grocery items that took longer.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,835member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

     

    Home appliances, including thermostats, typically last 10 to 20 years. This seem to be at odds with tech gadgets that need to be replaced every two years. Does anyone think that whatever devices Apple is selling 2035 will be compatible with that thermostat or will it have been tossed in the trash by 2020?


     

    And at $300 every 3-5 years, are you really saving any money on your energy bill? I love the idea, but I think I'll wait a couple more years to see how long-lived a setup might promise to be. Plus, I'll need to be making some more $$,$$$!

  • Reply 15 of 29
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 551member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post



     if you feel a year was too much time you're nuts.

     

    If I get personal statements, I always get this impulse to do the same or at least also making a personal statement, but disguising it in an argument. But no, not this time. It's not what Apple would do.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    quassiquassi Posts: 1member

    I don't see how this a relevant response now with Cloud based computing. You can log into the API application to make the changes with software not hardware.  That's what an app is. Yes you need hardware that can log into this but updating software to be accessible from a web browser like they are doing is simple enough. Unless the company goes under I don't see how you would loose the support needed.

  • Reply 17 of 29
    chadbkchadbk Posts: 9member
    According to "Mike A" at Ecobee, Homekit is going to be available to current first gen Ecobee3's via a firmware update. Below is the link to the ecobee developer forum where he stated it, about the 10th paragraph down. So if it's not, and we now have to buy a new ecobee3 again to get homekit functionality, it would appear ecobee lied to us all months ago about it. So why shouldn't everyone that's bought an ecobee3 in the last months get a free homekit enabled unit, since Ecobee Lied to the hive?

    http://developer.ecobee.com/api/topics/homekit_support
  • Reply 18 of 29
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quassi View Post

     

    I don't see how this a relevant response now with Cloud based computing. You can log into the API application to make the changes with software not hardware.  That's what an app is. Yes you need hardware that can log into this but updating software to be accessible from a web browser like they are doing is simple enough. Unless the company goes under I don't see how you would loose the support needed.




    Well for starters the hardware accessories need to have licensed MFi chips in them to be compatible with HomeKit. If they don't, no amount of software updates will overcome that. Not that there won't be some potential workarounds such as dedicated hubs and apps, but it is not the same as direct hardware access though iOS or ?TV.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post



    Technically the insteon thermostat would be the first homekit controlled one right? since the insteon hub is homekit compatible.



    The Insteon thermostat is not HomeKit enabled as a standalone item - you need the bridge that has HomeKit in it.

     

    For the ecobee3, it has no bridge because it has HomeKit in it.

     

    I know it's a distinction without a huge difference, but for Insteon, you'd need to buy two products - a thermostat and a bridge. 

  • Reply 20 of 29
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chadbk View Post



    According to "Mike A" at Ecobee, Homekit is going to be available to current first gen Ecobee3's via a firmware update. Below is the link to the ecobee developer forum where he stated it, about the 10th paragraph down. So if it's not, and we now have to buy a new ecobee3 again to get homekit functionality, it would appear ecobee lied to us all months ago about it. So why shouldn't everyone that's bought an ecobee3 in the last months get a free homekit enabled unit, since Ecobee Lied to the hive?



    http://developer.ecobee.com/api/topics/homekit_support



    ecobee is going to continue supporting your ecobee3-without-homekit - it will get firmware updates, but it won't get HomeKit, because HomeKit requires hardware and the 8 digit code to set it up properly. 

     

    It may be that ecobee offers an upgrade discount to get the HomeKit compatible unit. We just don't know yet.

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