Apple now allows Siri voice commands on third-party devices, with Ecobee’s SmartThermostat becoming the first smart home appliance that comes with Siri on board.
- Siri comes to non-Apple hardware thanks to Ecobee’s SmartThermostats
- Ecobee’s devices can now respond to your “Hey Siri” voice commands
- You can set the temperature and use all of Siri’s HomePod features
- You still need a HomePod mini on hand though
Ecobee’s SmartThermostat line
Ecobee has issued a software update to enable “Hey Siri” functionality on the company’s SmartThermostat with voice control. If you own a smart thermostat from Ecobee, now you’ll be able to not only set the temperature with your voice but also Siri features available on HomePod, like setting reminders, creating alarms, sending intercom messages and so forth.
Like with other Siri-enabled devices, you need a HomePod mini for this to work.
If you own an Ecobee SmartThermostat, fire up the Home app and you should see a prompt saying a free software update with “Hey Siri” functionality is now available to download.
The free software update is being released in stages and will reach all SmartThermostat customers over the next few weeks, according to a press release on the Ecobee website.
The Verge has shared a write-up explaining in detail how this integration works.
Apple brings Siri to smart home appliances
Apple at WWDC21 announced bringing Siri functionality to non-Apple hardware for the first time since the smart assistant’s inception in 2011. But it’s not like Apple is allowing Siri to actually be embedded into other people’s hardware. Instead, all a compatible HomeKit device does is relay your voice request to Siri running on an Apple speaker on the local network.
As a result, this functionality requires a HomePod or HomePod mini for Siri processing.
For example, the SmartThermostat from Ecobee simply sends any “Hey Siri” voice requests through your HomePod, with both devices needing to be on the same local network for this to work. In a way, Siri voice requests on third-party hardware are routed through your HomePod.