There’s no lack on smart home products that double as Alexa devices these days, but ecobee is taking a rather unique approach to AI integration today. The company has announced the ecobee Switch+, a new light switch with a built-in speaker and Alexa Voice Service. The Switch+ was announced this morning at South by Southwest and ecobee is gearing up for launch in just a couple of weeks.
Of course, the idea here is to put Alexa in every room, something that ecobee’s line of thermostats can’t really accomplish. Outfitted with far-field microphones, the Switch+ should be able to pick up your voice commands even when you’re on the other side of the room. The Switch+ also comes with motion and daylight sensors that can be used to control your lights from room-to-room, though you can also do that by using ecobee’s app.
Additional functionality is unlocked when you pair the Switch+ with one of ecobee’s thermostats, as it can then act as a room sensor. The Switch+ will track temperature throughout your house, allowing your thermostat to adjust based on that information. In addition to Alexa integration, the Switch+ will also be compatible with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT.
That’s about it as far as functionality is concerned, but then again, the Switch+ isn’t really intended to be the center of your IoT set up, merely an extension to it. It’s certainly interesting to see ecobee outfit a light switch with Alexa, as it gives you the potential for Alexa in every room of your house without having to stock up on Echo speakers.
Putting a Switch+ in each room could very well end up costing a decent chunk of change, though. The Switch+ will set you back $99 here in the US, with a price tag of $119 set for Canadian customers. It’s up for pre-order over on ecobee’s site today, with a launch to follow later this month on March 26.