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Fifth-gen ecobee thermostat with HomeKit promises better Wi-Fi, added Alexa & Spotify features

ecobee's fifth-generation thermostat, compatible with Apple HomeKit, should be mostly an evolutionary device but include important upgrades in wireless, Spotify, and Amazon Alexa connectivity, according to a product leak.

ecobee5



The thermostat will have a quad-core processor and include dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for the first time, big-box chain Lowe's said in a product listing spotted by Zatz Not Funny. ecobee is simultaneously planning a new remote "SmartSensor" with better pairing range and battery life, plus faster occupancy detection.

That detection can potentially improve heating and cooling efficiency, but ecobee's existing remote sensors have been criticized as too slow, often taking many minutes before they realize someone has left a room.

People enabling the thermostat's built-in Alexa speaker will finally be able to take advantage of calling, drop-in, and messaging features, something normally reserved for Amazon Echo devices. Spotify subscribers will meanwhile be able to push music and podcasts to the speaker via Spotify Connect.

U.S. pricing and a release date have yet to be revealed, though Lowe's claims the product will cost $329 Canadian, about $243 U.S.

The ecobee4 is one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market, competing mainly with Google's Nest. The Nest doesn't yet support HomeKit, although it does connect with iPhones and iPads in other ways.