Amazon today announced an ultra-cheap, ultra-basic, Alexa-powered smart thermostat. Its retail price is $60, but Amazon says you can probably get it for as little as $10 after energy rebates—and in some cases, for “nothing at all.”
The Amazon smart thermostat is super plain, based on press images Amazon released. It mounts to the wall and shows your home’s current temperature. Its main selling point is that it has Alexa running in the background, which means you can automatically set up routines through the mobile app to adjust the temperature in your smart home.
Amazon said that Alexa would “do the programming” for you. It could work similarly to the Google Nest Thermostat, which has an energy-saving program that automatically adjusts the temperature based on your use and outside climate. Amazon also mentioned you can use a routine to program the temperature in your home, similar to how you’d program a smart bulb or plug now through the digital assistant.
Amazon worked with Resideo, maker of Honeywell Home thermostats, to design the thermostat. Honeywell has attempted to enter the connected home market with its own line of smart thermostats, but they were often pricier than the competition and not as smart.
This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into connecting to your home’s central air, either. Amazon has previously partnered with Ecobee to include its digital assistant in the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, but that was an optional feature available in the device.
Sometimes, thermostats can be hard to set up if you’re running on an antiquated HVAC system. Amazon says its thermostat will work with most 24V HVAC systems.
It’ll be interesting to see how Amazon’s thermostat holds up against the competition. Amazon’s smart thermostat is now available to preorder, though there’s no word yet on when it starts shipping.