Ecobee Introduces HomeKit-Compatible Video Doorbell

Cupertino, October 20, 2023

Ecobee specializes in manufacturing thermostats and now offers their products in the Netherlands, including a thermostat compatible with HomeKit. Recently, they have also introduced a video doorbell with HomeKit integration. One unique feature of this video doorbell is the ability to stream live images directly to the thermostat. This is a feature that many have been waiting to see on Google's Nest, but has not been implemented. While the video doorbell does not currently support HomeKit Secure Video (HSV), it may be added in the future. Initially, the Ecobee Smart Camera required a special Smart Security subscription, but later added HSV support.

The video doorbell boasts a wide viewing angle of 180º degrees (175º vertical, 115º horizontal), allowing for easier package viewing and a better view of individuals from head to toe. It offers 1080p recording at up to 30 fps, HDR, and night vision up to 10 meters. Additionally, it features two-way audio with noise reduction for clear communication. The Ecobee video doorbell is exclusively designed to be wired and does not support battery operation. This decision was made to ensure reliability in extreme temperatures.

Installation of the video doorbell may require wiring and potentially drilling a hole in the door. If an Ecobee Smart Camera is also installed, the doorbell sound can be played through its speaker, eliminating the need for a separate doorbell. However, Apple users cannot communicate with the person at the door through the Ecobee app on iPhone or Apple Watch. The front of the doorbell is made of reinforced glass while the back is composed of aluminum alloy. It is IP65 waterproof and dustproof, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -25 to 45° Celsius. The doorbell offers both day and night vision, as well as radar technology for accurate detection.

There are a couple of drawbacks to consider with the Ecobee video doorbell. Firstly, it requires an Ecobee Smart Security subscription, and secondly, the live streaming functionality is only available with the purchase of a more expensive Ecobee thermostat. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium is priced at €389 and is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT. In the United States, this thermostat is priced at $249 (excluding tax), so the conversion rate to euros is not one-to-one. As a result, the cost of the video doorbell is expected to be around €200. Furthermore, the video doorbell is currently only available on Ecobee's American website and has not yet been released in Europe. However, alternatives with HomeKit integration can be explored in the meantime.

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