Apple's HomeKit home automation framework is beginning to show some surprising growth and strength, today with the announcement that the Ecobee3 smart thermostat will be available for $249 at Apple Stores throughout North America.
There have been plenty of smart thermostats available up to this point; Google's Nest and Honeywell's Lyric are two good examples. But Ecobee3 is the first that has been designed from scratch to support HomeKit. It's available with additional sensors (two for $79) that can be place in other rooms of the house to ensure even heating or cooling.
What HomeKit support means to potential Ecobee3 owners is that they'll be able to use Siri to control home temperatures through voice commands or group the thermostat into a "scene". Imagine telling Siri you're going to bed and it turns off all internal lights in your home, then adjusts the thermostat for comfortable sleeping.
The Ecobee3 also includes an Apple Watch app for controlling the thermostat from Apple's popular smartwatch.