In the wake of Google absorbing the Nest product line, there is new evidence that indicates Ecobee is preparing to broaden its smart home device product lineup. Purported leaked images of an Ecobee camera and a contact sensor tweeted by Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny may point to future Ecobee security cameras and home security systems.
Ecobee has not announced new product lines, but the company’s intention to go beyond smart home thermostats is stated clearly on its website under the top line menu heading Voice. Under the headline “Whole Home Voice,” Ecobee invites you to, “Imagine a home that listens and responds to your every command. No buttons. No clutter. No effort.”
The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat and Ecobee Switch Plus both have Amazon Alexa built-in. In addition to their primary functions, managing home temperature and lights respectively, the Ecobee4 and Switch Plus are fully functioning Alexa smart speakers. The thermostat and light switch features are excellent, but having Alexa inside enables a much broader smart home ecosystem, should Ecobee choose to develop one.
To be clear, the Ecobee devices aren’t just Alexa-compatible so that you can control them via voice commands heard by an Amazon Echo smart speaker or smart display. The Ecobee4 and Switch Plus each have an Echo smart speaker inside and can perform all the functions of an Echo, Echo Plus, or Echo Dot. In addition to answering questions, playing music, telling jokes, setting timers, making and taking voice calls and all the other normal Alexa smart speaker functions, the Ecobee4 and the Switch Plus can act as control centers to manage an entire Alexa-compatible smart home.
A further look at Ecobee’s Whole Home Voice page goes beyond imagining. “We’ve only just begun,” the page continues. “Stay in the loop as Ecobee continues to build your voice-enabled home.”
With Alexa-compatible devices numbering in the tens of thousands and north of 100,000 Alexa Skills, “whole home” becomes a comprehensive concept entailing, energy management, security, convenience, entertainment, and communications.
Zatz’s tweets from April 5 and May 8 include images of a camera and a two-part contact sensor. One of the contact sensor components has the Ecobee logo.
— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) May 8, 2019
When The Verge contacted Ecobee about the two images, a representative responded, “We’re always innovating and developing new ideas when it comes to hardware iterations and concepts — if it’s in the smart home world, you can bet we’re exploring it. This was one idea that was interesting enough to render.”
If Ecobee’s well-respected thermostats and wall switch are indicative of the quality of future devices and systems from the brand, we can’t wait to see how an Ecobee smart home ecosystem evolves.