DOMOTICS

Featured Fun & Crazy Projects

We’ve received very positive response from the community on Homey since we posted our First impression of Homey. The home automation scene has been stagnated with the usual hubs and people have been looking for a hub to upgrade or be excited with.

Today, we are sharing more on creating flows on Homey. In Vera and Fibaro it is called Scenes, in SmartThings, it is called Routineswhile in Homey it is called Flows. 

For the sake of comparison and for you to judge, here’s some screen shot of the Vera and Fibaro scenes and SmartThings routines.

The Vera scene has a textual wizard to step through the scene creation.

The Fibaro scene uses blocks for specifying logics.

SmartThings’s routine is also a little like Vera, except that you do it mostly on your mobile devices.

Here’s how Homey’s flows look like. Refreshing huh?

The flow editor is done on their Homey desktop application.

Homey’s flow is based on a card system that has a when (trigger), and (condition), then (actions) and else (actions). In short,

“When something happened, and this and that are true, then do that.”.

Basically you just drag the component cards from the left bar into the 3 columns. The cards are also contextual, meaning if you drag a switch to the if column, you can only see the respective option cards for use in that column. This screenshot should give you a better picture. In this example, the same wall plug is dragged into the “when” and “then” column multiple times. You can then choose the different triggers and actions by flipping the cards. You can also send values (cards with tags) to placeholders to conditions for evaluation and actions.

Let’s go a little deeper with a frequently used example. In this example, we want a standing lamp to turn on when there is motion, but only between 6PM to 6AM. Here’s how to:

In this example, not only the standing lamp wall plug is turned on, Homey will also announce “Motion Detected” and pulse its LED in red. If you are familiar with Vera and Fibaro scene, you will know that the “time in between” condition is not available and you have to achieve the above with 2 scenes instead on 1 in Homey.

Let’s move one to a more interesting use case. Where a condition is being evaluated. In this example, we want to make sure that the last person who leave the house locks the door. If this happens, send a Telegram message specifying name if the last person who left the house and then automatically locks the door. Here’s how:

Looks simple? If you notice on the left bar, you can also do a lot with other devices such as DoorBird, Ring, IR devices etc, each with their very specific triggers, conditions and actions.

Conclusion

We feel that the flow editor provided another way of defining automation. In a way, Homey made everything seemingly simpler and yet able to achieve more complexed scenes in a single flow. Check out this link for a introductory page to Homey Flows.

In our next few articles, we will share more on other integrated devices such as DoorBird, Ring, music IR and 433 devices. So do keep a look out for them!

Source : Automate Asia Smart Home Blog

Deciding your first Z-Wave controller can be a daunting task. We always get questions such as the difference between Vera, Fibaro or Zipatile controller, which controller is more value for money, which ones are more user friendly, how is SmartThings compared to the rest etc.

We think we will have a different answer today because we’ve just laid our hands on one of the up and coming smart home hub Homey. And we are very excited to share our first impression as we were totally blown away by it’s user interface and product design.

Homey is a voice-activated home automation hub created by Netherlands-based startup Athom. Athom recently launched Homey on Kickstarter in 2014 with  996 backers.

First look

The hardware looks un-usually minimalist. In fact one of the most minimalist design we’ve seen do far. Just a sphere with LED ring, with a USB power port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker grille. Not even logo or any single letter on the device itself. In fact the box does not even come with an instruction manual because Athom provided 13 instruction videos on YouTube just for setting up Homey.

Supported Protocol

These guys are seeing things differently and the number of protocols it supports make it stands out from Fibaro, Vera and even SmartThings :

  • Wi-Fi ® 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
  • Bluetooth ® 4.0 Low Energy 1
  • ZigBee ® 2.4 GHz 2
  • Z-Wave Plus ™
  • 433 MHz
  • 868 MHz
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Infrared Transmitter (6x)
  • NFC (ISO14443A)

You are actually getting an infrared blaster, 433 Mhz, NFC on top of whatever the competitors are offering in the market! The hub is also a speaker that can channel audio via the 3.5 mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth A2DP.

Setup

Upon boot up, the Homey will prompt you by voice to connect to http://setup.athom.com. From this point, everything will be done on your browser until the point you download the Homey app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The downloading of latest firmware and the voice files actually took some time as the files are around 150 MB to 200 MB in size.

Once the Homey hub is connected to your Wifi and firmware updated, you can download the Homey desktop application to start adding devices and create flows. Homey named their scenes as flows and we must say we were quite impressed with the user interface.

 

Homey supports an impressive array of devices as shown in the screenshots. There is an app for each brand of Z-Wave devices and you will need to download the app from the Homey App Store into Homey before pairing them.

Furthermore, the pairing instructions are very clear and device specific. The device parameters for each brand of Z-Wave devices are laid out very clearly. We feel that they have outdone both Fibaro and Vera in terms of parameters management. Till date, Homey is compatible with over 20,000 devices.

Homey App

Once you are done with the setup, adding of devices etc, here’s how the look and feel of the app. Again, we love it’s simple and material-design like UI. (Vera app had a flat UI but seems overly flat and Fibaro app looks like it is till in the iPhone 3GS era).

  

Conclusion

With the wide range of device support, clear parameter management and clean UI, Homey is definitely a strong contender among the existing hubs out there. The best thing about Homey is that, like SmartThings, it depended on a strong community in building more support and yet do their quality check on their app and UI assets. For geeks, their add-on are all written in Node.js (the geek in me is screaming woo!).

So do we recommend Homey over Fibaro and Vera? We think our answer will be very likely but we are still doing range and more testing to discover out more of its cons. So far we are still very impressed!

Look out for more articles as we will be covering more on Homey especially on the flow (scene) editor, App Store and other non-Zwave controls (IR, NFC, Bluetooth etc).

Source : Automate Asia (Smart Home Blog)

In our previous review of the Aeotec Nano Dimmer and Switch, we’ve promised to test the Nano Dimmer with a ceiling fan for fan speed control. In this test, we tested it with a 65W ceiling fan that has a 3 speed regulator. Naturally, we removed the regulator and connected the Nano DImmer instead as shown:

Aeotec Nano Dimmer

This is the fan which we tested in this round : http://relitespecialty.com/index.php/53/relite-petite-for-low-ceiling-detail We believe that it should also work with this fan with similar specs as well : https://www.kdk.sg/products/ceiling-fan/non-remote-controlled/m60sg.html

Here’s the video of the fan speed control via Amazon Echo.

Now you can get a connected fan (fan plus Nano Dimmer for around SGD200) without the cost of a Haiku :)

Source : Automate Asia

 

Aeotec has come a long way in the history of Z-Wave. We have been using Aeotec and Aeon Labs loosely when we address their devices. Since, this is one of the first time we post a review on their product, probably we take the opportunity to re-introduce them.

Aeon Labs is a home automation and electronics company based in Silicon Valley, California known both as Aeon Labs and Aeotec. As a company, Aeon Labs’ core focus is on the development and sale of Z-Wave compatible accessories which it makes available under its own name, its Aeotec sub-brand, and as white labelled goods.

Their Micro switches and dimmers have been the most sought-after Z-Wave devices due to their well-known compatibility to the ever popular Samsung SmartThings. Not forgetting their compatibilities with VERA and FIBARO. We are sure by now, you would have heard about their Nano switch and dimmer. By naming this new range as Nano, obviously will be smaller than Micro, is definite a step towards taking on FIBARO and Qubino. We tested the Nano Dimmer and Switch with VERA and FIBARO were pleased to see that it worked perfectly with the latest firmware. For Nano Dimmer, smooth, flicker free dimming from 0% – 100% and reporting the power usage too by default, for Nano Switch, worked as a single switch, nothing to shout about.

However, when it comes to FIBARO Home Center, where they used to take their time to add compatibility to other manufacturers, there are some quirky behaviour as stray devices appeared with not configured message even though the dimmer works properly. When it comes to status update from toggling the physical switch, currently you need to manually make an association to the lifeline group to make it send an update to the gateway. Once that is done, it works as well as using a FIBARO Dimmer 2, similarly, with or without neutral. Hopefully the next firmware upgrade by FIBARO will perform the association automatically like they do for their own brand.

While FIBARO ditched the IN port for their Single and Double Relay, the Nano Switch (and soon to be released Nano Dual Switch) kept that port. In our opinion, ditching the IN port makes wiring simpler but made it impossible to control loads that are in other voltage or to trigger stuff like auto-gate or other dry contacts. The Nano Switch can also be powered by 24V DC.

The Nano Dimmer is touted to have the ability to control the fan (and speed) up to 100 watts. We tried that with Qubino and burnt the module and did not have the chance to test this function yet. What made us excited is that the Nano range, like the Micro, has the additional port to connect to Aeotec Touch Panel. We’ve checked with Aeotec and we understand that, the touch panels compatible with Nano will only be available in Q4 this year.

So check out some of the pictures on the device, side by side with FIBARO and the wiring below.Aeotec Aeotec2 Aeotec3 Aeotec4 VS VS1 VS2 aeotec nano dimmer wiring

The Nano Dimmer and Switch is now in stock and available.

Domotics Team

 

 

FIBARO has released their HomeKit range of products in October 2016. However, the new range of HomeKit enabled products run purely on Bluetooth. This move left an entire customer base that are using FIBARO Home Center Lite and FIBARO Home Center 2 in lurch as the current Home Center range does not offer HomeKit connectivity. Currently they do not have any known plans in the pipeline to make their Home Center HomeKit compatible.

For the technical savvy geeks, there are open source solution based on Node JS, available for quick enablement of HomeKit on their FIBARO system. This require some technical knowledge of linux command lines, managing system services as well as editing of config files. Unlike our previous post on integrating Amazon Echo and Google Home with FIbaro/Vera where geeks can just request for a jar file from us to so do, making your FIBARO HomeKit compatible requires a little more work than that. However, we are not going do a technical coverage of how to make your FIBARO system HomeKit enabled. Geeks can drop us a message and we will point you to the technical guides. In this post, we are glad to announce that we have packaged the HomeKit software into our existing Smart Home Bridge that is already running the software to voice control (with Google Home and Amazon Echo) your FIBARO system. With the Smart Home Bridge, you just need to download our app (currently still being published to the App Store), to quickly enable HomeKit on your FIBARO. Here are some screenshots on the quick setup which takes you less than 5 mins if you are using the Smart Home Bridge:

Smart Home Bridge 1

Once your run the app with the Smart Home Bridge, already connected to the network and powered up, the app connects itself to the bridge automatically and pulls out the default settings. It also generates a HomeKit code for you to use later on.

Smart Home Bridge 2

You just need to key in your FIBARO system IP address (we will do an auto scan in our next release) and also the local FIBARO login credential and click on Save to Smart Home Bridge. The HomeKit software on the bridge will restart and connect to your FIBARO system to pull out all your devices. We will go to this later.

Smart Home Bridge 4

If you ever encounter problem with the setup, you can click on Reset Smart Home Bridge and Save to Smart Home Bridge. This is in case you need to reset the HomeKit software. In the open source version that the techie uses, they will have to SSH into the OS to delete certain files. The app handles that for end users.

Smart Home Bridge 3

Please note that if you are a geek that installed the open source software, this app will not work as we had to customised the software and created services on the OS to allow inputs from the app. However, if you configured the open source version of the software correctly, the following steps will be the same. You just need to launch your Home app on your iOS device (iOS 10 and above):

SHB1

Select Add Accessory

SHB2

Select the Smart Home Bridge

SHB3

The app will complain that it is not certified but it will still work, so click on Add Anyway.

SHB4

Click on Enter Code Manually

SHB5

Enter the HomeKit code that was previously shown in the Smart Home Bridge app.

SHB6

That’s it. Your devices in FIBARO will all be automatically extracted into the Home app and your FIBARO system is now HomeKit enabled! The following screenshots simply shows the different type of devices that can be controlled by the HomeKit app.

SHB7 SHB8 SHB9 SHB10 SHB11 SHB12 SHB13 SHB14 SHB15 SHB16 SHB17 SHB18 SHB19

With this, you can also ask Siri to turn on/off your lights, lock doors, set AC setpoint etc. What’s more is that if you have an Apple Watch, all these automatically appears on the watch for quick control on your wrist! Just note that by default, HomeKit only works if you are on your own wifi network. For it to to work remotely, you will need to make your Apple TV or spare iPad as a home hub for remote access. Check out this link for details.

You can now ditch your FIBARO app that looks like it came from an iPhone 3GS era. So, geeks, feel free to PM us for instructions (it is too lengthy to share here) and if you want it quick an easy, get the Smart Home Bridge here.

Domotics Team

 

 

The first time we laid our eyes on Nanoleaf Aurora, we fell in love with it’s aesthetics. We’d even imagine having an entire wall full of the colorful, mesmerising LED panels.Well, that is if you have money to burn. In Singaporean context, we call it damn bloody chio LED panels that do not look beng at all!

First Impression

Aurora12

One of the most design centric connected home devices we’ve ever seen, the Nanoleaf Aurora is yet another iOS, Android and voice enabled smart lighting panels. Unlike the typical Philips Hue bulbs, these ultra bright LED panels are triangular, modular and are usually wall mounted. The Aurora panels work with Apple HomeKit, an iOS 10 smart home standards built into iPhones and iPads. With it’s latest firmware, it is also compatible with Amazon Echo. With all these, you can either toggle your lights and devices right from your phone’s Control Center, by using spoken Siri commands or by talking to your Amazon Echo speakers.

The starter pack with 9 LED panels cost SGD 399 (with local 3 years warranty). It sounds expensive but considering the price you pay for a Philip Hue starter kit with only 3 bulbs, the features, aesthetics and the flexibility of these panels seem to be quite worth the bucks.

Setup

Setting up the Aurora is entirely up to your own creativity. The panel connects to each other with a SIM card like connector that is rather fragile. The controller attachment connects to one of the panels and can power up to 30 panels. Yes, you start with 9 panels and can purchase additional sets of 3 panels at SGD129. The box doesn’t tell you much on the setup but provides you a few idea on how you can organise the panels. We guess the panels and the parts looks rather intuitive to connect and get going.

Aurora1  Aurora3  Aurora4  Aurora2

Once the panels are connected and the controller attachment powered up, simply download and launch the Nanoleaf app to sync them up to your phone. If you own an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 and above, you will be able to connect it as a HomeKit device and start controlling them via Siri as well. For Android owner, you can control the lights only via the app.

What we like best is that your panels will appear in the app exactly as how you have arranged them physically. Unplugging a panel and shifting the panel will be instantly reflected in the app. You don’t have to power the panels off at all.

auroraapp

You can change its brightness or color of the panels or to specify the transitional animation. You can also control the speed of all of the effects, along with fine details such as direction and smoothness. Once you save your own designed effects as a scene, you will be able to trigger them by a tap/schedule or by saying hey Siri, set the Relax scene for example.

The Aurora IFTTT channel is also available for even cooler integration such as changing scene based on weather, location, notification or even your phone battery level. If you have the Amazon Echo, you can also set connect it to the Nanoleaf Smarter Series Skill.

auroraskill

Promising Feature Pipeline

For home automation enthusiast and geeks, the Aurora API is already in beta, which means you can look forward to integrate it your existing home automation systems. Nanoleaf will also be launching speakers attachment so that your lights can dance to the beat. The panels will also come in shapes other than triangle (though we felt triangles are already the most versatile, squares are quite boring actually). Google Home support will also be available late 2017. With these promises, the geek in you will not hesitate to put this beautify piece of marriage between art and technology on your wall. The Nanoleaf Aurora is also available here.

Domotics Team

 

Following our previous post on Vera (and Fibaro) Integration to Amazon Echo and having gotten our hands on the Google Home, we have updated our code base to support the new Google voice activated speaker.

googlehome1googlehome2googlehome3

If you are just using Vera, you can simply head to this link to download the latest jar file that supports Google Home and follow the instruction in our previous post to setup the jar file to work with your Google Home.

If you are using Fibaro, here is another good news. Our latest software version, not only pulls out the lighting devices and scenes out from Fibaro Home Center Lite and Home Center 2, it also generates the commands for air-conditioning and window coverings. We can now also use commands such as “Alexa, set roller blind to 50%” and “Hey Google, set Aircon to 20”. Check out the demo video below.

An important tip for readers who have existing setup with Amazon Echo. Once you have updated to the new jar that supports Google Home, you may realise that your Google Home is not able to discover the devices at all. Fortunately, the solution to simply update the webserver port shown below as 80 instead of 8080. Somehow Google Home does not discover devices on 8080.

Google Home Port

With that, you should be able to add your Z-Wave devices to be controlled by Google Home. The discovery process is somehow faster than that of the Amazon Echo. Another cool feature is that any new device added to the software bridge is automatically added to the Google Home without any rediscovery!

app1 app2 app3

Once again, for geek readers who can handle command lines, feel free to contact us for a copy of the file. All we ask for in return is a mention and link to this post in forums or your blog.

For non-geek readers, we also offer the pre-setup Raspberry Pi (comes with power adapter, casing and SD card) on our online store. You just need to plug in the Pi to your home network, power up and key in a preset URL (i,e http://voice-bridge) in your browser to get all these functionalities.

Domotics Team

We are sure at some point of time, you may have came across the Ring Video Doorbell or even the Pro version. Ring is one of the most popular wireless doorbells available on the market.  Previously known as the Doorbot, had a huge rebranding and climbed its name to the top. It is reasonably priced, easy for self-install and feature-packed. However, the one greatest drawback is that you have to keep charging your doorbell. The Pro version remove the hassle of recharging at a higher cost. On top of that, it allows some form of integration to Wink, Kevo etc. The main reason you want a video doorbell is that you can view the visitor and open the door! 

doorbird1

So why are we bringing Ring into picture when we are reviewing DoorBird. We want a video doorbell with the following features:

  1. Doesn’t require constant recharging.
  2. Able to have to unlock ANY smartlock (or connect to any magnetic doorlocks, autogate etc) after viewing the visitor
  3. Able to use the inbuilt sensor as trigger events in ANY existing home automation system
  4. Able double up as an IP camera and stream the video to existing systems

And the above reasons are the ones that drew us to DoorBird despite the higher price-tag compared to the Ring or Ring Pro. DoorBird is designed and made in Berlin, Germany and available in a variety of configurations. The one that we are reviewing is the entry level DoorBird D101.

 

The review unit is made of reinforced polycarbonate with a stainless steel faceplate and button. It has an HD camera with an infrared sensor, below which is a microphone/speaker grille and the stainless steel button. Other versions of the doorbell even allow installers to flush to a wall (though it involves carving your wall up), which actually makes for a neater solution, suitable for those with an autogate. Similar to Ring, DoorBird comes with a proprietary screw for securing the device while preventing theft of the device.

doorbird3

Since the DoorBird reuses your existing wires for your doorbell, DIY installation may not be so straightforward. Setting it up would require some wiring, waterproofing (at the backplate) and drilling before you even turn it on. The DoorBird can either to your home network via ethernet cable or wifi. If you are doing renovation anyway, it is good to lay power over ethernet cable to the mounting location. The DoorBird also provide connectors for existing door chimes and electric door opener.

The DoorBird connects to existing smart security products, including Control 4, Kisi, August, Kevo, digitalStrom, Lockstate, Volkswagen and Liftmaster Chamberlain, plus there’s an open API available for developers. Since we have in-house development capability, we are also proud to announce that we have also integrated it to the Fibaro and Vera for now :) Technically, even though it does not have an IFTTT channel, triggering to other devices via IFTTT is also made possible from our integration

Here’s a video on how the integration works. In this video, when someone presses the bell, notification is sent to the mobile phone, we can speak to the guest at the door and unlock the Z-Wave doorlock from the DoorBird app directly. Alternatively, we could also setup the notification to be sent to the Fibaro app, switches the screen to the Fibaro video gate, use the Fibaro app to view the guest and allow unlocking the Z-Wave doorlock.

Conclusion

If you are simply looking for simple a wireless video doorbell for retrofitting and are willing to recharge your doorbell every now and then, probably Ring (USD199/249) will be a better choice. The DoorBird (USD 349) requires more work to install but for maintenance free operation. If you already or planning to have a smart home system, integrating the DoorBird would be a plus as you do not need to switch to different app just to open the door after checking on the visitor. On top of that, the DoorBird can double up a 24/7 wide angle security camera pointing to your doorway. With connectors for existing door chimes and electric door opener, it is ideal for offices and shops with magnetic door locks. The DoorBird is also available here.

Domotics Team

 

Fast forward 2 years from we first tried the first version of the Danalock, we’ve finally gotten our hands on the V2 of the Z-Wave door lock. Will the version 2 of the Danalock erase the bad experience (mainly battery life and not so ease of configuration) we had with the V1? Let’s take a look at the hardware and the new Danalock app.

The Hardware

Unlike the V1 which has the Circle and Square version, the Danalock V2 now only comes in the Circle version.

danalock1

The Danalock comes with a manual (yes the V1 didn’t come with anything!!), and a few adapters to attach the tail piece of the deadbolt as well as a few sizes of base plate to secure the lock onto the door.

danalock2

danalock5

The Danalock V2 looks largely the same as V1. It used to come with a matt finish cover. The new lock is quite a fingerprint magnet with its glossy cover. However, there is an improvement in the ease of mounting the lock compared to the V1.

danalock3

danalock4

Please note that this is a model meant for the US deadbolt. The other common lock in Singapore is the Euro profile lock. For Euro profile lock, an additional cylinder is required. Please refer to this guide for more detail.

euro profile Euro profile lock

us profile US profile deadbolt

Attaching the lock to a US deadbolt is the simplest among all the type of locks. Simply remove the thumbturn, attach the base plate and secure the lock onto the baseplate.

danalock6

danalock7

danalock8

The Danalock V2 can be easily mounted with the 2 screw from the sides (the V1 requires you to open up the lock and insert the screws through the lock). There we go, a fully mounted Danalock in less than 5 minutes.

danalock9 danalock10 danalock11

The App

The Danalock App uses Bluetooth smart technology and works on Android phones equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) or Android 5 (lollipop) as well as on iPhone 4s and above. The Danalock App has improved leaps and bounds from its first iteration.

danalock1248  danalock1252

Calibration of the Danalock V2 is automatically performed via a step by step wizard. If you are not satisfied with the auto calibration, a custom calibration can be done to tweak the locking and unlocking position.

danalock1344 danalock1300 danalock1304 danalock1308

The Danalock App allows setting of auto unlock zone. The auto unlock zone for this version is rather logical. Instead of worrying that the lock will auto unlock whenever you get near, it uses a 2-zone logic such that it will only auto unlock when you come from beyond the outer zone into the inner zone. With this the lock will only auto unlock when you come home from work but not when you are walking around in your house.

During the few days of test, we realised that the lock has already been unlocked long before we climb up the stairs to reach the office door.

danalock1312  danalock1318

Features such as twist assist, auto relock timer and changing of locking speed to save battery or to tweak to work with doors that require bigger force to rotate the thumbturn.

danalock1323  danalock1327 danalock1330  danalock1334

You can also send permanent, temporary or recurrant access to another user via SMS or email and monitor the access logs.

danalock1409  danalock1415

Up till this point of time, the capabilities are just from using the BlueTooth Smart feature alone. What impressed us is the array of system that the app integrates to. The Danalock V2 is already integrated to Logitech Harmony, Google Nest and Airbnb out of the box! (We will delve into the details on these integration in future posts)

danalock1420  danalock1430 danalock1442  danalock1445danalock1503  danalock1451

Z-Wave Radio

Coming back to our core interest, this lock we are reviewing also has a Z-Wave radio. We did a quick test and found it fully compatible with with Vera, Fibaro Home Center (it used to be totally incompatible with HCL or HC2) and surprisingly the ZipaTILE!

danalock fibaro

danalock zipatile-35-47 danalock zipatile-36-52 danalock zipatile-39-18 danalock zipatile-50-47 danalock zipatile-57-18

Future Add-ons

We noticed that the functionality to include a Danapad and a Danafob is already available in the app. The Danapad was supposed to be launched in Q3 2016 but will delay until the end of 2016. No news on the Danafob yet.

danalock1510 danalock1514 danalock1519  danalock1543

Conclusion

The Danalock V2 is the only smart lock that uses both Bluetooth and Z-Wave. Danalock offers a model that comes with only Bluetooth as well. With the Bluetooth smart feature alone could already provide an array of features such as auto unlock as well as integrations to other systems and services such as Logitech Harmony, Nest and Airbnb. For the model with the Z-Wave radio, remote unlock over internet and mobile data is made possible via Z-Wave gateways such as Vera, Fibaro and ZipaTILE. In terms of security, this retrofit smart lock depends on the strength of the deadbolt you attach it to. The battery life seems quite decent for now as it remains full after 2-3 weeks of use with daily auto unlock. We will update on the battery life in 2-3 months time.

The Danalock is now available for preorder from SGD 340. With the promise of future add-ons such as Danapad and Danafob, looks like the Danalock is going to give existing Z-Wave and Bluetooth smart locks a run for their money.

Domotics Team

Zipatile

The ZipTILE ahead of CES 2016 earlier this year as the new wall mount home automation controller. We’ve got the wind of this device and awed by the introduction video. Now we’ve finally got our hands on this device, let’s see how it stack up against the existing smart home gateways in the market.

ZipaTILE 20 ZipaTILE 18ZipaTILE 17ZipaTILE 16

The wall mounted home automation controller looks somewhat like a square frame for a tablet in portrait. With a dimension of 205mm x 205mm  x 5mm, it is powered by a Quad-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of Flash storage. Similar to Vera Plus and Samsung SmartThings v2, it comes with multiple radios: Z-Wave+ 500 series, ZigBee and Bluetooth 4.0. In fact, it is simply a tablet with the standard connectivity such as Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Ethernet over USB plus all the major smart home radio standards.

ZipaTILE 15 ZipaTILE 14

The 8 inch tablet runs on Android Lollipop, has 6 preprogrammed scene touch buttons (programmable via the Zipato portal) laid out on the two side of the screen and in inbuilt with an array of sensors (Sound, Light, Humidity, Temperature, Motion and Shock). That’s not it, it also has on-board connection for dual AC dry outputs (230VAC, 1A), one DC Dry input (12-24VDC), external temperature sensor, a 2MP video camera, alarm siren and SD card slot! It is almost like buying a smart home controller with control modules, scene controller and sensors, except that it is all packed in one device.

The interface of the controller is just like a usual Android system, less the usual Google Playstore

ZipaTILE 1 ZipaTILE 9 ZipaTILE 12 ZipaTILE 11  ZipaTILE 2 ZipaTILE 3 ZipaTILE 4 ZipaTILE 5 ZipaTILE 6 ZipaTILE 7

In the last screenshot where we attempted to add device, it is evident that the gateway integrates with IP cameras, Sonos, Philips Hue and Google Nest out-of-the-box. Even though it has a ZigBee radio, clicking on the ZigBee option prompted that the option is only available in the future updates. As for the option named “Arwii”, it is still a mystery as to what it stands for. The Android, home screen is also designed to allow quick control to temperature, and music. What amazed us was that when we arm the system alarm and unplug the power, it immediately tripped and triggered an automated call all the way from Pennsylvania to one of our mobile phones to inform us on the event! Seems like a suite of backend monitoring is already in place!

Conclusion

This is only an initial impression of the device while we have tested the ZipaTILE to work with Fibaro 2*1.5kw relay, Remotec Z-Wave to IR extender and also the Danalock v2, making it capable for typical deployment in apartments. The ZipaTILE is simply a class of it’s own by being a tablet, a smart home controller, an array of sensors and a bunch of relays and contact. Which also explains the price of $700 Singapore dollars. We’ll definitely post more details of the interface with the tested devices in upcoming posts.

Domotics Team

 

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