The smart thermostat is called Ecobee and can be regulated through Siri.
Available now 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 last 7 July. That means users can use their 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 the user's control over their your home devices and appliances. Instead of getting up to turn on the lights, start the oven or regulate the temperature, users simply control connected devices through their mobile phone or tablet, mostly easily by issuing your commands through Siri.
However, 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 users 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 US$ 249 and can work independently. The device knows when to turn on your heat or air conditioning based on the home's energy profile and the outside weather. It can also detect which rooms in the house are occupied, thereby sensing which ones need heating or cooling, with the goal of saving money on energy bills.
Apple already sells an Ecobee3 smart thermostat through its online store. The original model has virtually all of the features of the new one except that it's not HomeKit compliant.