Ecobee wants you to donate your smart thermostat data to combat climate change

ecobee donate your data
As the maker of several high quality connected thermostats, Ecobee is already a smart company. But its new project may be its best move yet — an opt-in program that lets users volunteer to share their data for a large-scale study into home energy efficiency and climate change.

“Helping the world conserve energy is at the core of our brand promise and we don’t believe that it’s limited to those who own Ecobee thermostats,” Ecobee founder and CEO Stuart Lombard told Digital Trends. “We believe in energy efficiency for everyone. We saw a unique opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the scientific community and, with the support of our customers, to advance their work.”

The Donate Your Data program shares anonymized data concerning metrics like the size of a user’s home, the house’s age, occupancy numbers, and external and internal temperatures. Information will be shared with academic, government and nonprofit organizations, and research partners already include the likes of The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carleton University, and others.

What makes it so revolutionary is, like Apple’s ResearchKit health initiative, it makes it easy for researchers to gain insights from hundreds of thousands of users at a time.

“We all [benefit from this],” Lombard said. “This program offers a voluntary way for people to share their anonymized data with leading North American researchers and scientists. When we invest in the science, we advance the innovation that informs better policy, better technology, better codes and standards that underpin a clean energy future. We hope this platform will ultimately create an unmatched data-sharing movement to advance the research driving innovation in energy efficiency and environmental progress.”

If you are interested in getting involved, you can sign up at Ecobee’s Donate Your Data web page here.


Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Smart Home

These accessories take your already awesome Instant Pot to a whole new level

If you're familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that this bad boy acts as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, egg boiler, and a lot more. Here are some must-have accessories to make Instant Pot cooking even better.
Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.