Review : ZipaTILE first impressions
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.
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.
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
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!
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.