Perhaps the company known for its intelligent thermostats is not just a company of intelligent thermostats. In recently filtered photos obtained by Dave Zatz from Zatz Not Funny Ecobee seems to be working on his first indoor video camera. The photos on the camera show a prominent conical support and four lights that flash yellow or blue. The shape of this looks vaguely like a smart speaker.
The camera would really be Ecobee's second new product outside of its intelligent thermostats. The first was a light switch that can double as an Alexa speaker, which launched last year. There is evidence that Ecobee could also be expanded to other smart home devices. In 2018, Amazon invested millions of dollars from its Alexa Fund to invest in Ecobee. It is possible, given the investment, that the new video camera and any future smart device for the home can be compatible with Alexa.
The new photos also remind us that Ecobee could be building its smart home ecosystem at a time when big names are making a big competition. Amazon acquired the Eero small mesh router company in 2019, Ring in 2018 and Blink in 2017, and more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold. Meanwhile, the Google Assistant is catching up successfully by reaching approximately one billion devices, if you count Android phones. Samsung, for its part, has launched an improved Bixby in refrigerators, washing machines and enhanced televisions.
In 2019, when Amazon and Google are acquiring many independent companies, it's refreshing to see an underdog stay on the scene. The Verge approached Ecobee for more details.