My buddy Dave Zatz from zatznotfunny.com has uncovered evidence that the unannounced Ecobee4 smart thermostat will have Alexa capabilities built-in. Dave first speculated the next-gen thermostat would have Alexa when he found the device’s FCC report and noted that the new model appears to have gained a rear-facing speaker. In addition to the image above, which shows off an Alexa blue light bar on top of the device, Dave has found marketing materials that confirm Alexa is in tow.
Having Alexa in the smart thermostat is a significant step above simply being able to control the thermostat through an Alexa device, like the current Ecobee3 model. With Alexa in the unit, it means it will act as an Amazon Tap or Echo Dot, where you can talk to it and hear Alexa respond. Not only will you be able to control this thermostat through Alexa using your voice, but you’ll also be able to control all other Alexa compatible devices, as well as access to the usual assortment of Alexa voice assistant features.
As seen in the image, the Ecobee4 has gained a microphone icon on its touch interface, which is not present on the previous generation Ecobee3. You’ll likely be able to press that button to speak to Alexa. It’s unknown at this time if the Ecobee4 also has far-field microphones that will allow hands-free always-listening communication with Alexa, like with the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. Dave anticipates the Ecobee4 will be released within the next couple months.