Apple Stores are now selling a smart thermostat that you can regulate through Siri.
Available Tuesday at Apple retail stores in North America, the Ecobee3 smart thermostat is the first connected thermostat compatible with Apple's HomeKit technology, The Verge said on Tuesday. That means you can use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to remotely monitor and control the device, either through software or through Apple's Siri voice assistant.
The new thermostat and other HomeKit-enabled devices are part of Apple's Connected Home initiative, which aims to automate your control over your home devices and appliances. Instead of getting up to turn on the lights, start the oven or regulate the temperature, you simply control connected devices through your mobile phone or tablet, mostly easily by issuing your commands through Siri. But the initiative is still just getting off the ground as more device makers need to support HomeKit. Apple faces competition from vendors like Amazon with its Echo smart speaker, which also lets you control home appliances by speaking commands to a voice assistant, and Google-owned Nest, which makes a smart thermostat and smoke detector.
Already sold directly by Ecobee, the new HomeKit-enabled Ecobee3 costs $249 and can work independently. The device knows when to turn on your heat or air conditioning based on your home's energy profile and the outside weather. It can also detect which rooms in your house are occupied, thereby sensing which ones need heating or cooling, with the goal of saving you money on your energy bills.
Apple already sells an Ecobee3 smart thermostat through its online store. The has virtually all of the features of the new one except that it's not HomeKit compliant.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.