ecobee4 thermostat launches with Alexa support built-in

Home automation company ecobee will soon be launching its next-gen thermostat, dubbed the ecobee4. Like previous thermostats in ecobee's lineup, the ecobee4 is a smart thermostat that can be controlled either through the built-in touchscreen, ecobee's companion app, and with this launch, Alexa voice controls. The device even goes up for pre-order today for those who are interested in picking one up.

It doesn't sound like ecobee is shaking things up too much with the ecobee4, but that built-in support for Alexa voice controls will certainly be a major draw for the device. The ecobee4 is also equipped with far-field voice recognition, which means that it should be able to pick you up regardless of your location in the room.

Though Alexa is the main AI focus of the ecobee4, you don't necessarily need to own an Amazon Echo to use it. The ecobee4 also ships with support for Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT, so you definitely have your options when it comes to integration. It's also compatible with ecobee's wireless room sensor, which tracks room occupancy to further help save on energy costs.

The ecobee4 was only one part of today's announcement, though. The company also reveal plans to expand beyond smart thermostats and smart sensors to break into the realm of smart light switches. ecobee envisions a smart light switch that has many of the same features as the ecobee4 – namely, Alexa voice controls and support for far-field voice recognition.

It may seem a little strange, but it makes some degree of sense, as a smart light switch would help fill gaps in voice coverage since customers aren't going to put smart thermostats in every room of the house. That smart light switch won't be launching until later in the year, so we'll keep an eye out for more details. In the meantime, you can pre-order the ecobee4 today, with its launch coming up quickly on May 15. When it launches in a couple of weeks, it'll arrive with a $249 price tag.