HomeKit support?

Is ecobee going to support Apple's home automation initiative?

https://developer.apple.com/homekit/

Craig
5 people have
this question
+1
This topic is no longer open for comments or replies.
  • MarkK (API Architect) July 04, 2014 14:55
    Hi,

    ecobee is dedicated to supporting open integration with all devices. Our API is that bridge today. We do not have a current position on Apple's HomeKit, as it was only just now announced. It will depend on whether and how much HomeKit penetrates the market. We are keeping an eye on the up and coming standards in the area of home automation. There are many. Out of the box, zero configuration integrations are an interest for us.

    Thanks for asking.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Seriously any update on this? It'll definitely weigh mine and other decisions to go with your unit.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hello Scott,

    Due to legal reasons, with NDA's etc., we cannot divulge any details of our upcoming features until they are physically available. As you may have noticed, our product is being carried in Apple retail (store.apple.com/us/product/HH1K2LL/A/ecobee3-smart-wi-fi-thermostat) and we take our relationship with Apple very seriously. Beyond that, I apologize but we cannot say much more at this time.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Taking nothing away from eco bee but, the thermostat would look great in the shape of an apple :). Maybe a new acquisition for Apple???? Nest----Google. Ecobee----Apple. I too am looking at your product and hope home kit is integrated. I like what I have read and like the way you use the sensors in multiple rooms.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • If Homekit is integrated, would it mean a hardware upgrade or could the current version be upgraded to support? Wondering if I should wait or buy now. Thanks
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 1
    I would love to hear that Ecobee is following Apple MFi certification, my requirement is an integrated home not many standalone products to worry about re' security patches, reliability, and "broken in latest version" integrations. This industry on it's own has been fragmented like crazy and has needed a HomeKit equivalent for years / decades. Zigbee has had it's chance. Now with IoT we need a protocol leader with certification process and security to the chip level, thank you Apple.

    We're well past many HomeKit announcements including products at CES now so I'm assuming Ecobee will not be (Honeywell having announced June 2014).
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I agree and feel integration is a must. Its hard as a consumer to have multiple hardware each with its own app.

    my hope is that like Zwave Ecobee is supported for Home Depot's Wink & Apple's HomeKit.

    Nest & dropcam are supported as example on Wink.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • This reply was removed on 2015-02-08.
    see the change log
  • This reply was removed on 2015-02-17.
    see the change log
  • Unfortunately the information you were given was incorrect. HomeKit requires more than a firmware update. As mentioned earlier in this thread, ecobee is working with Apple on many fronts, and we are working on incorporating many new technologies. However, due to legal and product reasons we can't announce anything until more technical details are worked out.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thanks for the responses.

    Will there need to be a hardware upgrade to work with HomeKit? Basically should I hold off purchasing until an official announcement is made?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • You need to talk to your support rep, Mike A. because he is the one who replied to my support request regarding HomeKit with this response. I also would like an honest answer as to whether or not an existing Ecobee 3 purchased today will be HomeKit compatible without having to buy additional Ecobee hardware. I just purchased two Ecobee 3's today on Amazon because I had received the previous answer from your tech support person, Mike A., that they will be compatible with HomeKit thru a firmware upgrade. I realize that you don't want to hurt sales today due to people waiting for a future version of Ecobee that will be HomeKit compatible if indeed existing versions will not be compatible however you need to be upfront and honest with your customers. If you have customers who absolutely only want an Ecobeee that will work with HomeKit as I do, you just need to be patient as you will get the sale once you release an HomeKit compatible Ecobee.


    If I buy these two Ecobees now based on the the bad information that Mike A gave me and it turns that they don't work with HomeKit in the future and I am forced to buy new ones, you can be sure that I will simply walk away and no longer be an Ecobee customer. If your real answer is that you cannot tell me either way whether or not existing Ecobees purchase today will ever be able to be made HomeKit compatible then I will surely not roll the dice. I will return the two Ecobees that I just purchased from Amazon. No harm, no foul and I will just wait for definitive and official information from Ecobee when you can tell us for sure that an Ecobee that I buy at that time will work with HomeKit.


    One thing that is perplexing to me is why dozens of other manufacturers have found a way to definitively announce that some of their current and pending release products will be HomeKit compatible, yet you guys are unwilling and/or unable to share that kind of information at this time. I will tell you that not doing so is going to hurt your sales in favor of those competitors who have already announced HomeKit compatible for current and "coming soon" products.


    Here is the Ecobee support reply I received regarding HomeKit from Mike A.:


  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thanks for your note. I understand your predicament of wanting to "future proof" your technology investments as much as possible.

    Although some other companies have made pre-announcements, I can't confirm our future product plans due to confidentiality requirements. I will say that HomeKit support is something we're looking at, however I want to clarify Mike’s comment as unfortunately the information he provided is misleading. Again, I can’t confirm ecobee’s unannounced product plans, but until more details around HomeKit requirements become public, we cannot commit to a software upgrade path. I realize that this information may result in you returning the product for now but I hope this candid response is helpful and that you'll consider ecobee in the future. As an aside, I've connected with Mike to let him know of his misunderstanding.

    I hope that we will be able to welcome you to the ‘hive’ as an ecobee customer, if not now, then in the future.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • HomeKit support will require a hardware modification to add an MFi chip... the "Apple Tax" as they call it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m happy
    Ereyes.az I understand your frustration. I feel that the reason why Ecobee can't say anything is probably because they will possibly be part of Apple June 8th presentation, hence the NDA remark from Hesham Fahmy 5 months ago. Your Ecobee3 WILL need a HomeKit chip installed, but that doesn't mean that they will start installing them in their products after Apples June announcement. These chips have been available to manufactures since Sept. 2014 so it's probable that your Ecobee already has the chip installed. The "firmware remark" from Mike A pretty much confirms this. Personally I am confident that HomeKit will be included in the Ecobee3, and I am going to be returning my gen 2 Nest tomorrow for this reason. The Honeywell Lyric definitely will have HomeKit support, but it seems to be a one trick pony and many people who have bought it are complaining about it on the net, so my hard earned money will most likely be going to Ecobee. We’ll all know more in around a month.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Now that Ecobee has officially announced Homekit support - Will the existing Ecobee 3 units be firmware upgradable or not? Thanks
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I'd like to know the answer to that as well. I purchased my Ecobee 3 about 2 months ago under the assumption that it would work with Homekit based on your prominent mention of Homekit in all of your marketing materials. Had I known the Ecobee 3 would not work with homekit (if that is the case) then I would have waited to make my purchase.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • i just purchased an ecobee 3 last month as well.. does this mean i'm out of $350 including the 2 extra sensors ?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Due to the hardware changes required for Apple HomeKit certification, the previous version of ecobee3 is currently not upgradeable to be HomeKit compatible. HomeKit compatibility is not something that can be made possible through a firmware upgrade, a software solution, or by utilizing the radio expansion slot on ecobee3.

    Rest assured, we are exploring all options including partnerships that will help us enable all ecobee3 customers to experience Apple HomeKit technology.

    We are working an upgrade offer for our current customers. Please stay tuned for more information in the coming days. Thank you for your patience
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • The Ecobee3 units that will be pre-sold starting on June 23rd WILL have the HomeKit chip installed in them. Without the chip in your unit a firmware update will still not support HomeKit. You need both, the chip AND the firmware update for the new HomeKit system to work. Even if your unit doesn't have the chip installed, Ecobee may still offer a way to "update" your unit by simply returning the old unit to them (for a nominal fee) and then have them send you a updated HomeKit unit. The only real question is why didn’t Ecobee just call the new “HomeKit version" thermostat Ecobee4, to end all the confusion. Really glad to see Ecobee embracing HomeKit. It is a massive jump forward for smart thermostats.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m frustrated
    2
    I understand that you could not have announced any HomeKit compatibility prior to today, but I think that based on this forum and other blog postings on the ecobee site have unintentionally mislead customers including myself into thinking that "if" ecobee3 was announced that people who already had one were good to go. I bought mine in January after reading this forum and the "read between the lines" comment about Ecobee3 now being sold in the Apple Store.

    Even reading the announcement today from Apple was confusing about the ecobee3. I had to re-read your announcement multiple times to figure out whether current units would support it or not. I also read several reports that made it sound as if the current model was already HK ready. I think you need to update your site immediately to reflect that units sold before June 23rd will NOT have the HomeKit chip in them. I know you already have a FAQ posted that explains this, but it took me a while on your site to figure out that there were two models now. It should be disclosed on the information page for the "old" ecobee3. I also think that you really should have named the new HomeKit version by a different name. Ecobee3-HK or something. Calling it simply the HomeKit Enabled Ecobee3 doesn't sound like a different model it sounds like a new feature. The only context clue that it is a different unit is the "pre-sales start June 23rd, units in stores July 7" part of the page. Even then I had to do a big more digging because I kept wondering why there were presales of the Ecobee3 if I already had one and it was "for sale" on your website.

    Putting a disclaimer in the ecobee3 product info page that is much more prominent would go a long way to preventing people from getting it from Amazon or another retailer under the assumption that a product by the same name is already available and summer is coming up. After all, your claim to fame is that it will lower electric bills.

    I really REALLY hope you offer current customers an upgrade program for sending in their current model. I would trade mine in for a fare upgrade fee.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m disappointed
    1
    Yeah, this is very disappointing... I spent almost a $1,000 on ecobee gear a couple of months ago. I was mislead to believe I was buying the most modern future-proof thermostat and it ended up being obsolete in months. If there is no HomeKit upgrade path for current users, I'll go Nest for my new house and sell the current one with the ecobee duds in it. The latest ecobee app keeps freezing on me anyway, which has only being annoying so far, but has turned into disappointment very quickly after the HomeKit announcement.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 2
    I don't get why everyone is so upset? An Ecobee rep said 3 months ago that it would most likely require new hardware. Plus if you read any HomeKit article in the last 9 months you would have seen that it required a chip and certification from Apple. I made the decision to wait so I wouldn't regret my purchase. As for buying Nest, I don't think that's going to upset Ecobee at all. Nest is a Google product and if you're an Apple user you're gonna get more screwed by buying a Nest. But to each their own.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 2
    One of the messages we have been hearing loud and clear from all our users is that we need to keep innovating, and not stagnate like other thermostat vendors. This is what we are doing, and we are doing it for you, our valued users. We have continuously released firmware updates to the ecobee3, adding enhanced remote sensor functionality based on your feedback. We continuously enhance the HomeIQ data. We have added an Apple Watch App. And now we have added HomeKit.

    I apologize if this innovation is really so upsetting and offensive to this group. Regarding HomeKit, the fact of the matter is that in order to be certified for HomeKit we were required to go through Apple's MFi program, and this is under a very strict NDA. While Apple announced HomeKit in iOS a year ago, the plain truth is that the MFi hardware specs were still evolving as of earlier this year. It was not fully clear what workarounds, if any, we could employ to address the authentication protocol via software. Unfortunately Apple would not certify any option other than using their authentication chip, and this closed the door on us being able to support current ecobee3's for HomeKit. Plain and simple, and nothing malicious or underhanded by ecobee, nor is this a poor choice by Apple. This chip cannot be supported via the expansion slot, so there is no other option but to create a new circuit board. I don't understand how people on this forum really expect anyone to be able to future proof a device from such changes.

    At the end of the day, we will never be able to satisfy everyone, although we try our best. To name the HomeKit ecobee3 as 'ecobee4' would be misleading and likely cause many other people to get upset. The ONLY difference is the support for HomeKit. All other functionality remains the same, and we will continue to roll out identical feature enhancements and firmware to both because they are really the same thermostat. Naming this update as ecobee4 will likely confuse people and cause concern that their current thermostat is now obsolete and no longer supported with future updates.

    I thank everyone for their comments on this forum. However this is a forum dedicated to the ecobee API, and questions and knowledge sharing around it usage. This is not the proper forum to discuss product opinions. We have dedicated support channels for this and it is best to direct your feedback there.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited