Apple on Tuesday will begin selling the ecobee3, which is the first Internet-connected thermostat that is compatible with Apple’s iOS HomeKit framework. While a version of the ecobee3 is already available for sale, it lacks the chipsets required for certification with the HomeKit ecosystem.
The ecobee3 functions similarly to the Nest Learning Thermostats, and features geofence triggering of a home’s heating and air-conditioning systems, Siri voice input, scheduling, and more. The system uses specialized sensors that feeds information concerning a room’s temperature and occupancy to the ecobee3 control unit.
HomeKit is Apple’s iOS framework that promises the ability for iOS device users to remotely control their compatible home appliances, HVAC systems, lightning fixtures, door locks, garage doors, alarm systems, and more. Currently the devices available are limited to HVAC and lightning fixtures.
Last month saw the first wave of HomeKit-compatible products from such names as Insteon, iHome and Lutron. Initial reviews have been less than glowing, due to the unreliability of the Siri-reliant control system.