Ecobee manufactures some of the best smart thermostats on the market, but like its rival Nest, the company may not be satisfied with that small part of the action of smart devices for the home. Dave Zatz of ZatzNotFunny revealed earlier that the company was quietly working on a smart home camera, and now it has also discovered images of a contact sensor, and that suggests that we're just looking at the tip of the iceberg in this moment.
A contact sensor is a fundamental piece of a larger smart home ecosystem, one in which opening and closing doors and windows can activate other things, such as alarms, lights or adjusting the temperature. (When the two halves of the sensor move away from each other, for example, one of them in a revolving door, the system knows when it is open or closed).
But Ecobee (still) does not sell many others. Smart home devices, and a contact sensor must communicate with some type of hub to tell your home if your door or window is open.
Theoretically, the sensor could be an independent device that speaks, for example, with the Apple HomeKit, designed to stand on its own merits and be part of a smart home system to mix and match , but I have a different hunch. You see, both the Amazon Ring and the Google Nest have shown what you can do by combining cheap contact sensors and a hub: you can create a pseudo DIY, a modular security system for the home like Nest Secure or the economic Ring Alarm. (It does not matter that Amazon has not yet combined their sensors and cameras intelligently, I have some at home.)
That strategy can not have gone unnoticed by Ecobee, who surely saw Google seize its rival. Nest and just the other day make it their only smart home brand, and witnessed how Amazon has been rapidly acquiring an unsystematic empire of smart home brands such as Blink, Ring and Eero.
When I contacted Ecobee, a representative played image as a "render": "We are always innovating and developing new ideas when it comes to iterations and hardware concepts, if you are in the smart home world, you can bet that We're exploring, this was an idea that was interesting enough to represent it. "
But if it is real and part of an alarm system, it is likely that we can expect more smart appliances from Ecobee. There are a lot of components (motion sensors, window break sensors, smoke alarms, etc.) that, in theory, can build such a system.