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Official ecobee3 HomeKit Feedback Thread

SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

I figured I'd make a central thread for those who want to provide specific feedback and requests relating ONLY to HomeKit use with the ecobee3. This is that thread. :)

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Comments

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    @msaleem A couple of feedback items for ecobee. First, if you go to your Knowledgebase at https://ecobee.zendesk.com/home and type in "HomeKit," the auto-fill proposes lots of options (which tells me these words have been searched before), but there are zero results for anything HomeKit related. That should be a priority.

  • I would like to see a tutorial on setting up HomeKit.

    I was confused about how to setup HomeKit on my new ecobee3. When I first launched the app, I created a new account (my old one was deleted when I sold my original ecobee3) and walked through the familiar-to-me setup of my thermostat.

    After that, I was presented with the new HomeKit grouping screen where I proceeded to add zones and rooms to my HomeKit setup, which wasn't very useful for the ecobee3 setup, really (it looks like I just need a minimum of one home with one zone created?).

    I did NOT figure out that I should then "add" a new thermostat using the plus button at the top left at this point. I had just added my thermostat, hadn't I? And I only have one. But it turned out that Siri didn't work until I tapped the plus button and followed that setup.

    Maybe this setup is more straightforward if I was adding a HomeKit thermostat to an existing account or if I had already set up HomeKit zones and such in another app.

    Anyway, I was confused by all of that and would have appreciated a video or web page walk through :-)

  • zombiechowzombiechow Member
    edited July 2015

    [deleted because zombiechow is a doofus]

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator
    edited July 2015

    When testing out the phrases on this page:

    https://www.ecobee.com/faq/what-voice-commands-can-i-use-to-control-my-homekit-enabled-ecobee3/

    It's cool to see it work, but not all of them work quite as they should yet. I'll go through them one by one.

    To get your current desired temperature, say, “What is my thermostat temperature?”

    ^Works. But the phrase isn't intuitive. Should be something like "What is my thermostat desired temperature?" or "What is my thermostat set temperature?" Also, the results are never in whole numbers. I always get a result like "74.8F" I'm guessing that's probably because the "native" measurements are in whole Celsius numbers, and end up with decimal places after the conversion to Fahrenheit. This should be rounded to the nearest whole number.

    To get your current indoor temperature, say, “List my thermostat temperature.”

    ^Works, but again, not quite intuitive. Should be "What is my indoor temperature?" Interestingly, I seem to always get a whole number in return for this result.

    To get your current indoor humidity, say, “List my thermostat humidity.”

    ^Works, but why not "What is my thermostat humidity?" Also, I get a raw number with no units. I simply get "The thermostat is at 43." I'd prefer "The current humidity is 43%"

    To change your desired temperature to X degrees, say, “Set my thermostat to X degrees.”

    ^Works... almost. If I ask it to set to 76 degrees, it sets to 75.9. When I ask for 74, I get 73.9. Again, I believe it's the C to F issue. This should round.

    To change your desired humidity to X, say, “Set my thermostat humidity to X.”

    ^First, I should be able to say "X percent." Second, it doesn't warn me if I don't have a humidity device attached. I have no humidity device, and when I say "Set my thermostat humidity to 50," I simplyu get "OK Steve. I set the thermostat to 50." If I can't set desired humidity on the touchscreen or web UI (and I can't because I don't have anything connected), then I shouldn't be able to attempt it via HomeKit.

    To set your thermostat to Home, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Home.”

    ^Works great. However, if I only have a single thermostat (like most ecobee users probably will), I'd like to be able to say "Enable thermostat home." IN fact, when I tested that phrase, I got the response "Sorry, Steve. I wasn't able to find any thermostats this time." So she knows I'm looking for thermostats. I'm hoping this is possible.

    To set your thermostat to Away, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Away.”

    ^Works great. But again, I'd love to say "thermostat" instead of the name of my thermostat. It's a mouthful

    To resume your thermostat schedule, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Resume Schedule.”

    ^Works great, but again, kind of a mouthful. I'd prefer simply "Resume" over "Resume schedule" and just "thermostat" instead of naming it. Also, no need to say for "Siri" on any of these commands.

    If you have multiple HomeKit-enabled ecobee3 thermostats in your ecobee account:

    To get your current desired temperature from a specific ecobee3, say, “What is my [ecobee3 name] thermostat temperature?”

    ^This, like all the others below, works even if you DON'T have multiple HomeKit-enabled ecobee3s. The following commands all work just like the commands above, and I have the exact same feedback regarding wording of the commands.

    To get your current indoor temperature from a specific ecobee3, say, “List my [ecobee3 name] thermostat temperature.”

    To get your current indoor humidity from a specific ecobee3, say, “List my [ecobee3 name] thermostat humidity.”

    To change your desired temperature for a specific ecobee3 to X degrees, say, “Set my [ecobee3 name] thermostat to X degrees.”

    To change your desired humidity for a specific ecobee3 to X, say, “Set my [ecobee3 name] thermostat humidity to X.”

    To set your thermostat to Home, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Home.”

    To set your thermostat to Away, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Away.”

    To resume your thermostat schedule, say, “Siri, enable [ecobee3 name] Resume Schedule.”

    The final command is for the remote sensors:

    If you have wireless remote sensors paired with your HomeKit-enabled ecobee3:

    To get the current indoor temperature from a specific sensor, say, “List my [sensor name] temperature.”

    ^This works great, but again, I'm getting 79.9 as the result, when I'd prefer it rounded to 80.

    Also, my wife's name is "Keri," and the sensor in her office is "Keri Office, " but Siri keeps interpreting my command as "List my Carrie office temperature." and so I get "Sorry, Steve, I wasn't able to find any devices this time." Even using the phonetic spelling trick in my iPhone Contacts (and putting the phonetic spelling as "Carrie") didn't do the trick. I tried creating a keyboard shortcut, which auto-corrects "Carrie" as "Keri." It now works everywhere on my phone, but not with Siri. This means you'll need to name your sensors something Siri recognizes easily. I ended up changing the sensor to "K Office." Now Siri recognizes that, but doesn't say a sensor reading yet. Maybe I need to wait a bit for it to update?

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    Thanks, Steve. I take it you are testing with iOS 8? Or have you got the beta of iOS 9 installed?

    I'm curious if the E3-H is visible to other Homekit apps. I saw one report that Elgato's Eve app recognizes other devices. You could also check the iHome Control app. The Lutron Caseta app is supposed to be crippled so that it only sees devices attached to their bridge device.

    Craig
    (The ragged ends you're finding--like not rounding to whole numbers--make it sound like they rushed to get this out the door. Hopefully a firmware update will fix some of these things fairly quickly.)

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator
    edited July 2015

    @pvr4me: I'm using iOS 8 for now, since that's what readers of my blog will have available to them, too. When iOS 9 is released, I'll do an updated post that points out any changes.

    I agree that the rounding issues are minor "we didn't have time to fix that" type issues. I know there was a lot of pressure from Apple to get this HK-enabled version on shelves quickly, and agree that they should be easy firmware fixes.

    Downloading the the iHome Control app to test now...

    Edit: iHome Control sees nothing when it queries the network for devices. :(

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    Give Elgato's Eve app a whirl; it is free too.

    When you change the set temperature on the tstat, how long does the override remain in place? 1, 2, 4 hours? Until next transition? Can you specify how long?

    Is it possible to change the set temperature by a relative amount--ie "Siri, increase my thermostat by 2 degrees".

    Craig

  • briansusernamebriansusername UtahMember
    edited July 2015

    @pvr4me: I just tried it and the Elgato Eve app can see everything HomeKit about the ecobee3: temperature, humidity, motion detected, heating/cooling mode. It also lets you control temperature, humidity, the mode, and let's you activate away, home, and resume (labeled Scenes). All of the temperatures have the decimal point issue @steve pointed out (I use Farenheit).

    When you set the temperature via Siri, it is an indefinite hold. This appears to be the case regardless of what the "Hold Action" preference is set to (I tried changing it).

    I tried changing my temperature via Siri by 2 or 5 degrees (up or down) and got a funny response:

    Question
    Response

    It appeared to try and set the thermostat to 45 degrees (F) for any relative temperature change, which my thermostat doesn't like - oops! @msaleem, you might want to check that one out.

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    @brianusername, would it be possible to get a screen capture from Eve re the E3-H? Just curious to see how it is displayed.

    It is really cool that it reports motion detected. There was some indication that it might only update every 3 minutes. Or maybe only report 'computed occupancy'--whether there has been any motion in the last 30 minutes. Could you test with the Eve app and see how quickly/often it updates?

    (Again, this may be rather different under iOS 9. One of the main changes to Homekit in iOS 9 is supposed to be support for sensors like motion and temperature.)

    Regarding the relative change problem, that again points to a rushed release. If they'd done any significant user testing, somebody would have noticed. No average user cares what the exact value of the thermostat set point is--they want it a little warmer or a little cooler. In fact, what happens if you ask Siri to "Set the thermostat up/down a little"?

    Craig

  • briansusernamebriansusername UtahMember
    edited July 2015

    @pvr4me: Here are a few screenshots of the Eve app (I'm not home to try the other things):




    pvr4me
  • JimJim Birmingham, ALMember

    One note about swapping an ecobee3-01 for HK-ecobee3, I'd recommend deleting all remote sensors from the old ecobee before pulling it off the wall. I swapped mine out, and my (at the time) only remote sensor was showing near constant motion. I tried about everything, before finally plugging the old ecobee back in, and deleting the remote sensor. When I plugged the HK-ecobee3 back in, the motion seems to match actual activity. I don't know if I unplugged right in the middle of a communication, so the sensor continued to send info, or something else was going on. (I posted this on your review, sorry if this is not the right place for this, feel free to delete)

  • msaleemmsaleem TorontoEcobee Employee

    Steve said:
    @msaleem A couple of feedback items for ecobee. First, if you go to your Knowledgebase at https://ecobee.zendesk.com/home and type in "HomeKit," the auto-fill proposes lots of options (which tells me these words have been searched before), but there are zero results for anything HomeKit related. That should be a priority.

    The Knowledgebase on Zendesk is for legacy content only. Please refer to FAQs on ecobee.com for FAQs and support documentation on HomeKit.

    We are working on a much better Knowledgebase solution which will go live with the new version of our website in the coming months.

  • msaleemmsaleem TorontoEcobee Employee

    Steve said:
    When testing out the phrases on this page:

    https://www.ecobee.com/faq/what-voice-commands-can-i-use-to-control-my-homekit-enabled-ecobee3/

    It's cool to see it work, but not all of them work quite as they should yet.

    Unfortunately this is something out of our control. We are using the parameters as provided by Apple with respect to Siri natural language processing.

  • msaleemmsaleem TorontoEcobee Employee

    Steve said:
    Also, the results are never in whole numbers. I always get a result like "74.8F" I'm ?>guessing that's probably because the "native" measurements are in whole Celsius >numbers, and end up with decimal places after the conversion to Fahrenheit. This >should be rounded to the nearest whole number.

    You have guessed this correctly. You are seeing decimal points because of Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion. You are seeing decimals for accuracy reasons.

  • msaleemmsaleem TorontoEcobee Employee

    briansusername said:
    It appeared to try and set the thermostat to 45 degrees (F) for any relative temperature >change, which my thermostat doesn't like - oops! @msaleem, you might want to check >that one out.

    Can you please email me about this issue so we can log it, replicate it, and reach out to you for further testing if needed?

  • dannykott9dannykott9 USAMember

    Most of the HomeKit commands are working well for me. However, although I can get a range of all sensors if I say "List my sensor temperature," I still have no luck with individual sensors. Based on other things I've read, this may be because I set up "rooms" in the Ecobee iPhone app that share the same name as my sensors. For example, I have a room called "Office," which is the same name as my sensor in the office. Is there any way around this? I could delete the room, but then what happens when more HomeKit products are introduced and I need different rooms to manage them all?

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    pvr4me said:
    Give Elgato's Eve app a whirl; it is free too.

    Will do!

    When you change the set temperature on the tstat, how long does the override remain in place? 1, 2, 4 hours? Until next transition? Can you specify how long?

    I don't know, and I haven't been able to figure out how to control that yet.

    Is it possible to change the set temperature by a relative amount--ie "Siri, increase my thermostat by 2 degrees".

    I just tried. My set-point right now is 76F. If you say the "degrees" she doesn't understand.

    But if you say "Increase my thermostat by 2" she DOES understand... but her response is "OK, I set the thermostat to 50F" and now my thermostat is set to 70F.

    That one seems like a bug. :)

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Nice - the Elgato Eve app is slick!

    @msaleem: One issue - Elgato Eve says my system is OFF, but I know it's in COOL. Not sure if that's an app issue, or a thermostat issue.

  • msaleemmsaleem TorontoEcobee Employee

    @steve, HomeKit uses the HomeKit Accessory Protocol to communicate between HomeKit accessories and bridges and so it could be a HAP issue and not an app or thermostat issue.

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator
  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Elgato seems to be working and shows me as "Cooling" now. Maybe was just still synching?

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    dannykott9 said:
    Most of the HomeKit commands are working well for me. However, although I can get a range of all sensors if I say "List my sensor temperature," I still have no luck with individual sensors. Based on other things I've read, this may be because I set up "rooms" in the Ecobee iPhone app that share the same name as my sensors. For example, I have a room called "Office," which is the same name as my sensor in the office. Is there any way around this? I could delete the room, but then what happens when more HomeKit products are introduced and I need different rooms to manage them all?

    Yeah, I think you're going to have to rename something. Succumbing to the current mega-marketing-campaign, maybe you could call the sensors "Minion Kevin" and "Minion Bob". Then you could ask Siri to "List Minion Kevin's temperature"! ;)

    Even better, if you assigned the thermostat to a room called "Gates", with the sensor named "River Styx", in a house designated "Hell", you could ask "Hey Siri, list the temperature of the River Styx at the Gates of Hell". <Boy, I crack me up!>

    Craig

  • dannykott9dannykott9 USAMember

    pvr4me said:
    Yeah, I think you're going to have to rename something. Succumbing to the current mega-marketing-campaign, maybe you could call the sensors "Minion Kevin" and "Minion Bob". Then you could ask Siri to "List Minion Kevin's temperature"! ;)

    Even better, if you assigned the thermostat to a room called "Gates", with the sensor named "River Styx", in a house designated "Hell", you could ask "Hey Siri, list the temperature of the River Styx at the Gates of Hell". <Boy, I crack me up!>

    Craig

    Haha thanks. I'll probably just delete the room and stick with Office.

  • briansusernamebriansusername UtahMember
    edited July 2015

    @pvr4me said:
    It is really cool that it reports motion detected. There was some indication that it might only update every 3 minutes. Or maybe only report 'computed occupancy'--whether there has been any motion in the last 30 minutes. Could you test with the Eve app and see how quickly/often it updates?

    I tried with two different sensors and the Eve app showed "Motion Detected = YES" about the same time my ecobee3 shows "Occupied" in the Sensor menu - after 2 minutes the first time and around 3 minutes the second time. Neither has switched to "Motion Detected = NO" yet after 10 minutes, and the ecobee's "Occupied" status matches that.

    In fact, what happens if you ask Siri to "Set the thermostat up/down a little"?

    Siri understands, but the ecobee3 does not:

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    briansusername said:

    @pvr4me said:
    It is really cool that it reports motion detected. There was some indication that it might only update every 3 minutes. Or maybe only report 'computed occupancy'--whether there has been any motion in the last 30 minutes. Could you test with the Eve app and see how quickly/often it updates?

    I tried with two different sensors and the Eve app showed "Motion Detected = YES" about the same time my ecobee3 shows "Occupied" in the Sensor menu - after 2 minutes the first time and around 3 minutes the second time. Neither has switched to "Motion Detected = NO" yet after 10 minutes, and the ecobee's "Occupied" status matches that.

    Oh, that is disappointing. The lag on the motion sensors means it is largely useless for triggering other events automatically.

    Craig

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    briansusername said:

    In fact, what happens if you ask Siri to "Set the thermostat up/down a little"?

    Siri understands, but the ecobee3 does not:

    Has somebody opened a support case with Ecobee? If their team determines it is a Homekit problem, they should be the ones to file a bug with Apple.

    Craig

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    ^Same thing happens if I say "Set my thermostat down by 2" -- it tries to go from 76F to 50F, and then the ecobee (thankfully) refuses to go below 70F because of my preferences.

    I think it's a HomeKit bug.

  • dannykott9dannykott9 USAMember

    dannykott9 said:

    pvr4me said:
    Yeah, I think you're going to have to rename something. Succumbing to the current mega-marketing-campaign, maybe you could call the sensors "Minion Kevin" and "Minion Bob". Then you could ask Siri to "List Minion Kevin's temperature"! ;)

    Even better, if you assigned the thermostat to a room called "Gates", with the sensor named "River Styx", in a house designated "Hell", you could ask "Hey Siri, list the temperature of the River Styx at the Gates of Hell". <Boy, I crack me up!>

    Craig

    Haha thanks. I'll probably just delete the room and stick with Office.

    So this didn't work. When I ask to "List my Office sensor temperature," it still responds with "Sorry, there were no devices found in the office."

  • pvr4mepvr4me Member

    Steve said:
    ^Same thing happens if I say "Set my thermostat down by 2" -- it tries to go from 76F to 50F, and then the ecobee (thankfully) refuses to go below 70F because of my preferences.

    I think it's a HomeKit bug.

    Define "Homekit". ;)

    From my reading (I'm not part of the MFi program), I believe each Homekit accessory has a "profile" which defines sorts of stuff. To complicate things, I believe there are Apple-supplied profiles and custom profiles (stored on the device and queried by Homekit during setup). I suspect (but don't know for sure) that this profile defines things like the allowable range for attributes that Homekit can write to. I believe it also defines the Siri phrases and the actions that should result.

    If the E3-H has a custom profile, I would think it is Ecobee's responsibility to manage the min/max range. Hopefully this could be fixed in a firware update. OTOH, if the E3-H uses an Apple-supplied profile, then it is up to Apple to fix it. I hope this doesn't require an iOS update!

    Either way, Ecobee developers ought to take the lead. Obviously they can roll out a firmware update, if need be. If they have to involve Apple, they'll have contacts through the Made for iOS program that ought to be much more responsive than one of us filing a bug report through the general Apple Radar system.

    Craig

  • briansusernamebriansusername UtahMember
    edited July 2015

    pvr4me said:

    briansusername said:

    In fact, what happens if you ask Siri to "Set the thermostat up/down a little"?

    Siri understands, but the ecobee3 does not:

    Has somebody opened a support case with Ecobee? If their team determines it is a Homekit problem, they should be the ones to file a bug with Apple.

    Yes, I reported this and the increase/decrease by X degrees and Muhammed said he would get back to me if they need more details.

    I wonder if these are phrases the Apple engineers thought of but ecobee hasn't yet implemented (maybe not quite documented, even) or if it's just a bug on ecobee's side.
    My guess is its something ecobee will be able to fix with a firmware update.

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