When you’re putting together a smart home, it’s easy to get a little carried away. Maybe you start with a speaker connected to a voice assistant. Then you’re ordering pack after pack of smart light bulb, wiring in a doorbell cam, and before you know it your curtains and blinds are opening all by themselves. Well, homeowners aren’t the only ones going down this path, and we’ve also seen the companies behind these devices start out making just one kind of smart-home accessory, before finding themselves building a whole home’s worth of connected tech.
Popular HomeKit accessory maker ecobee has today updated its iOS app with a visual overhaul and several new features. The update brings the ecobee app to version 6.0 and adds some more color and flare to the interface, which was previously primarily black…
ecobee began taking pre-orders for the Switch+ today. This smart-home light switch includes HomeKit support so it can be remotely controlled with an iPhone. But it goes beyond that: with Amazon’s Alexa built in, this wall switch acts as a smart speaker all on its own. Users can do more than verbally order the lights […]
Home automation company Ecobee and the maker of Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat raised a $ 61M Series C round led by Energy Impact Partners. Other investors include Amazon Alexa Fund, Relay Ventures, and Thomvest. Ecobee so far has $ 112M in equity funding since it launched in 2007.
Amazon Alexa Fund, a $ 200M venture fund to fuel voice technology innovation is the repeat investor in Ecobee. The fund also participated in Ecobee’s Series B round of $ 35M in Aug 2016.
Ecobee4, company’s fourth generation smart thermostat features voice-activated control through the Amazon Alexa and comes with room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots.
A recent study by NPD group states that Ecobee has captured one-third of the smart thermostat market, reports Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media. This tells about the company’s ability to raise multi-million rounds of investment.
However, the investments also reflect the feud between Google and Amazon as the former owns Nest, maker of thermostats, indoor and outdoor security cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, security system, video doorbell and more.
A third and more established competitor is Honeywell, a $ 100B global conglomerate with business interests in aerospace, building materials, engineering services, and home and building technologies. The competition is expected to intensify as Statista Research predicts 33M U.S homes will have a smart thermostat by 2020, compared to 12M in 2017.
It might be that the competition for ‘smart home’ space is more between Google, Amazon, and Honeywell rather than Nest and Ecobee. Amazon recently acquired smart video doorbell company Ring for $ 1B. Nonetheless, Ecobee’s voice-enabled feature integration with Amazon Alexa may provide superior user experience to customers as more and more people adopt voice computing.
Getting up to change the temperature on your thermostat is an arduous and unpleasant task, but smart thermostats have freed us from this drudgery. Okay… but now you have to open an app and tap stuff to change the thermostat? That still seems like a lot of work, right? Google Assistant offers the ultimate in convenience (until such time as we have brain-thermostat interfaces), but not all smart thermostats support it.