Image source: ecobee.com

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has started selling the new smart thermostat, Ecobee3, in North American stores. The Ecobee3’s new version offers compatibility with Apple’s smart home software. The device is priced at $250 and has the distinction of being the first HomeKit enabled thermostat to be sold in Apple stores.

As the Ecobee3 incorporates HomeKit technology, it can be run using the iPhone or iPad. It can also be controlled with voice commands via Siri. The thermostat and other HomeKit enabled devices comes under the umbrella of Apple’s connected home initiative, whose goal is to have automated control over home devices and appliances.

As per the Ecobee3 product page, conventional thermostats sense the temperature only in a single room but are expected to deliver comfort throughout the house. However, Ecobee3 remote sensors supply the right temperature in the most important rooms.

The Ecobee3 boasts of 320 x 480 full-color LCD for its controls. The Apple device regulates the temperature of your home depending on its energy profile and the outside weather. It can detect human presence in each of your rooms to determine which ones require heating or cooling thus saving money on energy bills.

Although HomeKit has potential, there hasn’t been an opportunity to test how effective the technology would be in the scenario of using several connected devices at once. Apple intends to make HomeKit more user-friendly by incorporating iCloud support for HomeKit in iOS9.

Interestingly, Apple already markets an Ecobee3 smart thermostat on its online stores. The original model possesses all of the features of the new model except being HomeKit compliant.

Apple also has competition from vendors such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) with the Echo smart speaker which enables you to control home appliance by spoken commands to a voice assistant and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Nest which produces a smoke detector as well as a smart thermostat.

Sources: digitaltrends, cnet