In Depth: ecobee

There’s a hot new startup on the scene in Toronto called ecobee and if you haven’t heard of them, you will. Here’s what they bring to the table. 

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This is the ecobee3 which is a smart thermostat that goes above and beyond what you’d expect a thermostat to do. Most thermostats, including a lot of so called smart thermostats set the temperature of your entire home based on the temperature of one room.

How smart is that? Well, it’s not.

The ecobee3 is a smart thermostat that bases the temperature of your home using wireless remote sensors to make you more comfortable. You can have up to 32 remote sensors to optimize the temperature in your home. The wireless remote sensors measure temperature and occupancy. By knowing which rooms are occupied, ecobee3 makes smarter heating and cooling decisions, delivering more comfort when you’re home. And when you’re not. 

How smart is that? Very smart.

The intelligence continues in one other area. Smart home devices are usually islands unto themselves. You might smart plugs from vendor “a” and light bulbs from vendor “b” and neither speak to each other. Thus you need two apps to run them. ecobee says that this is a #fail which is why the ecobee3 supports Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Wink, Samsung SmartThings among other standards, which means it plays really nice with others. And you use it as part of a larger solution that is easy to manage.

Now all of this is remarkable. But what’s remarkable about the ecobee3 is that it’s gone from no market share to #2 in the space in about a year. Not bad for a startup from Toronto. I spoke at length to Rahul Raj who is the VP of Marketing & E-Commerce at ecobee. He really is passionate about ecobee and the ecobee3. He really spent a lot of time talking to me about the fact that the company spent a lot of time to make sure that the ecobee3 is easy to install and they wanted to create a product that people will rave about. They also wanted to create a product that other companies will partner with, highlighting the fact that Apple only sells the ecobee3 in Apple Stores and helped ecobee with HomeKit support, or the fact that Amazon not only partnered with ecobee, but they sell it online as well. Oh, I’ll also mention that Telus which is one of Canada’s top telcos is selling the ecobee3 in their stores like the one I wrote about recently. Finally, they stand behind their product by having staff that can help you to install the product as they are trained in how HVAC systems work. 

ecobee is a company that you should keep an eye on. They have a product that is game changing. And it’s backed by a staff with passion and partnerships that make a great product amazing. With a combination like that, they are really going to shake up the smart home space.

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