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Ecobee’s new security camera doubles as an Alexa speaker

Ecobee’s new security camera doubles as an Alexa speaker

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The SmartCamera is just one piece of a new home security platform

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The Ecobee SmartCamera
Ecobee SmartCamera
Image: Ecobee

Smart thermostat maker Ecobee has announced its first indoor security camera, the $179 SmartCamera. The device is actually just one piece of a new home security platform, which the company calls Haven. In addition to the new SmartCamera, Ecobee is also introducing SmartSensor for doors and windows, a combination entrance and motion sensor that’s not unlike Google’s Nest Detect. The new SmartSensors will be sold in two-packs for $79. Both are available for purchase starting today.

Both of the new hardware products work in concert with Ecobee’s SmartThermostat (as well as the older Ecobee3, Ecobee3 Lite, and Ecobee4 models) and its basic SmartSensors to automatically determine when you are home or away and arm the system and set the thermostat appropriately. The company says this system, which relies on the motion detectors in the SmartSensors, thermostat, and SmartCamera, plus geofencing in the Ecobee smartphone app, eliminates the need for keypads or manually programming the security features or thermostat.

The SmartCamera is similar to other indoor home security cameras in that it has a 180-degree field of view, 1080p resolution, night mode, two-way talking, and the ability to view its live stream from anywhere in the world via the Ecobee mobile app. It can also automatically pan and center the camera’s view when it detects there’s a person in the frame.

But unlike other cameras, the SmartCamera also doubles as an Alexa speaker, allowing you to issue voice commands to it for anything you might need from Amazon’s virtual assistant (including arming and disarming the system) and get a response right from the speaker. This feature does make the camera larger than similar options from Ring or Nest, but Ecobee includes both a stand and wall mounting options for placement.

In addition, the SmartCamera is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit platform, so you can view the video feed right in the Apple Home app, and Ecobee says it will add SmartThings and Google Assistant support in the future. Ecobee says that the SmartCamera does all of its video processing analysis on-device and does not rely on the cloud for any processing. Clips are only shared to the cloud when the system is armed and motion is detected and you can enable an automatic on / off function that will disable the camera whenever your family is around for greater privacy.

Ecobee SmartSensor for doors and windows
Ecobee SmartSensor for doors and windows
Image: Ecobee

Like the multifunction SmartCamera, the new SmartSensors for doors and windows are able to both determine when a door or window has been open or if there’s any motion in the area. This makes them a bit more versatile than standard entrance sensors, and means you can use fewer sensors to cover a room in your home. Ecobee says the sensors have up to three years of battery life.

It’s important to note that even though the Haven system allows you to set it to Armed (for when you’re not home), Armed-Stay (home but sleeping), and Disarmed (home), and configure which sensors are active in each mode, it is not a full home security system like Ring Alarm, SimpliSafe, Nest Secure, and others.

Should the door sensors get tripped or motion be detected when the system is armed, you will merely receive a push notification on your phone from which you can trigger a siren sound to come from the camera — the Haven system is not a fully monitored system that can call the authorities automatically. It also can’t automatically dispatch the fire department in the event of a blaze.

The Haven service, which includes monitoring, automatic arming and disarming, and 14 days of cloud storage for one camera, starts at $5 per month. A $10 per month option is available that provides storage for unlimited cameras, and both tiers have 30-day trials available.

Ecobee’s range of products
Ecobee’s range of products
Image: Ecobee

The SmartCamera and new SmartSensor for doors and windows will be available for purchase individually, but Ecobee is also offering a range of bundles for various needs, including thermostats, cameras, and sensors. These bundles range in price from $236 to $499, depending on included equipment.

Much like Ecobee’s connected thermostats, the new SmartCamera, SmartSensor for doors and windows, and Haven service are thoughtfully designed, and provide multiple functions in fewer devices. If you’re already invested in the Ecobee ecosystem, the new camera and sensors are an easy way to add some basic security to your home.

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