Ecobee announces smart light switch with built-in Alexa and numerous sensors

Ecobee just announced their brand new ecobee4 smart thermostat with Alexa built-in, but what was more surprising was the announcement of an all new product to facilitate, what they’re calling, “whole home voice.” The new product is an ecobee smart light switch with integrated temperature, occupancy, and daylight sensors. As if that weren’t enough, the light switch has microphones and speakers for full built-in Alexa functionality.

Ecobee is expanding beyond smart thermostats into further home automation and convenience with vision of Alexa and voice controls in every room. Their new smart light switch essentially integrates an Echo Dot inside with hands-free far-field microphones and a speaker. You can ask it to turn the lights on and off, but also anything else Alexa can do, like the weather, news, or to control other smart home devices.

In addition to Alexa being built-in, the smart light switch functions as a remote temperature sensor which communicates with the Ecobee4 smart thermostat to precisely maintain the correct room temperature. Ecobee’s thermostats come with one remote sensor, and you can add additional sensors, but this new light switch is a more elegant way of monitoring temperatures throughout the home.

The Ecobee smart light switch also has occupancy and daylight sensors to automatically control the lights to save energy. When you’re ready to leave your home, you can say “Alexa, I’m away” to instantly turn all lights off and adjust the home temperature.

Ecobee has not revealed pricing or availability yet for the smart light sensor. They’ve said it will be available later this year and you can sign up to be notified when it launches through their website.

  1. gdroid666 says:

    the fact that it actually gets installed in the house as a sort of built in fixture really does add to the surveillance state creep factor
    it is just that one extra step like sealed battery cell phones , it is always on and always connected and hard wired and can not ever be unplugged
    eventually if they become ubiquitous enough they will get get sold with the house and new buyers will have these come with their house,i mean assuming they still allow private property ownership in the future
    this is like the communist 5 year plans 10 year plans 20 year plans, it is incrementalism ,death by 1000 cuts , sure it seems innocuous enough now but,
    it is laying the groundwork for future social engineering
    it is the beginning of the implementation of the basic underlying infrastructure, we are now witnessing the re engineering 1st hand.
    This device will not only be listening to everything but also monitoring presence and schedules of occupants
    truly creepy

    • Reflex says:

      As I keep reminding people, this battle was lost the moment people started carrying cell phones everywhere. Home smart devices are less useful to hackers, the NSA, and foreign agencies than cell phones which already can do and track everything you do with far more granularity and capability.

      I find it very strange that people worry about the mic/speaker in their house, but not the one in their pocket attached to a powerful computer with dozens of potentially compromised applications.

      • gdroid666 says:

        i know if you have a cell phone might as well just acquiesce and get the echo ,we know they are tracking you with cell phones but having it built into your house is just another psychological level above
        cell phones and echos are movable not fixtures
        i know it is all just trivial semantic details though,we know it is inescapable
        just saying you can put your phone in another room if it has no removable battery you can unplug you echo and put it in drawer
        if you are in a room with something like this you are going to have to visit the basement pull a breaker and grab a screwdriver
        you need to deal with mains voltage to disconnect it
        no problem for me but for an awful lot of other people it would be

      • AFTVnews says:

        Thank you. Every person complaining about this stuff happily keeps a phone within arms reach at all times (and carries it wherever they go) which has GPS tracking, a microphone, and camera. Yet a stationary device with just a microphone that spends most of its time in an empty room is the devil.

        • Reflex says:

          It’s not even that I disagree with the overall sentiment, we certainly have set ourselves up for an Orwellian nightmare. I’d like to see more thought put into this topic, and the rights of citizens considered when it comes to their personal data.

          But complaining about devices that are far less of an issue than devices that are at this point ubiquitous and far more capable of spying is just ridiculous. My Echo does not follow me around. 90% of the time its not even within earshot of me, and it has no clue what I do on a day to day basis. My phone, on the other hand, is a very different story. Hell, my car has more of an idea about my day to day life and location than my Echo.

          BTW, news flash: Your PC/tablet/laptop is very hackable, often with you, and has both a mic and a camera! Oh noes!!! ;)

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