Ecobee CEO on the Future of the Connected Home

Phat Chiem for Gadget Review:  ecobee unveiled its latest generation smart-home thermostat this week at the Collision Conference in New Orleans. This version is the first to arrive with Amazon’s Alexa functionality integrated directly into the device. A built-in microphone allows ecobee4 to offer all 12,000 of Alexa’s voice-enabled skills. Is it the best smart thermostat on the market today?

Essentially, the new ecobee – the ecobee4 –  gives you an Echo Dot and a smart thermostat in a single, wall-mounted device. You’ll not only be able to control your home’s climate via voice, but you can also fetch a recipe, hear the news, or check sports scores. ecobee is also introducing later this year smart light switches that work with its thermostat and Alexa.

Priced at $249 and arriving in stores this past May 15th, the ecobee offers a compelling alternative to the similarly priced Nest thermostat. It’s also a signal that the trend of third-party device makers integrating Alexa’s functionality into their offerings will only grow from here.

To hear more about where the voice-enabled smart home is headed, we caught up with ecobee founder and CEO Stuart Lombard on the convention floor at Collision. What follows is an edited interview:

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