Apple‘s physical retail stores will begin selling the first thermostat to be compatible with the iOS HomeKit system this week. As a smart home device, the Ecobee3 is an internet-connected thermostat that, when connected to Apple’s HomeKit platform, will allow users to control it with their iPhones via apps and even voice commands to Siri. The Ecobee3 is priced at $250, and should be appearing in Apple Stores in North America on Tuesday.
The Ecobee3 offers the same functionality and serves as great alternative to the Nest thermostat, which is compatible with Google’s smart home platform. The thermostat can automatically monitor and make adjustments to a home’s temperature based on whether someone is home, or pre-set parameters like specific times.
Ecobee3 monitors a home via a network of sensors that are put in each room. One is included with the thermostat, and a pack of two more can be purchased separately for $80. While this is the first home thermostat to feature HomeKit connectivity, the Ecobee3 was first available in Apple Stores last November, although without the necessary chip to connect to Apple’s smart home platform.
That older Ecobee3 model has been discounted by about $20 at other retailers, possibly hinting that it may be discontinued once the HomeKit version becomes widely available. If you already have the older model installed in your home, the question about it being worth it to upgrade simply depends on how interested you are in jumping on the HomeKit platform and adding other appliances, such as lighting fixtures.