Ecobee debuts energy-saving, WiFi-connected Smart Thermostat

Sure, you can outfit your whole home with ZigBee-connected home automation devices, but if you're not quite ready to take that plunge in the future, you may want to consider something like Ecobee's new Smart Thermostat, which will give you a taste of home automation and help you save a few bucks in the process. Like some other similar thermostats, this one relies on WiFi to connect to your home network, which should ease installation considerably, and it even includes some optional ZigBee expansion slots in case you do want to integrate it into a more complete home automation setup. At $385 though, the device isn't exactly cheap, but the company says it'll pay for itself in energy cost savings within the first 12 to 18 months. You'll be able to put that claim to the test yourself when the device starts shipping early next year.