Top 10 smart home gadgets with IoT that enable home automation for enhanced everyday life

The overall vision of a smart home is spectacular but isn’t without a few bumps in the road. For starters, not everything in our houses is smart. Some bulbs are smart, others aren’t. Our ACs aren’t internet-connected, our coffee maker doesn’t run on its own, our curtains don’t move autonomously, and for the most part, we still need to walk to the door to answer it when someone’s ringing the bell. Moreover, even the devices that ARE smart have their own limitations because Google’s products don’t talk to Amazon’s products, and Amazon’s products don’t talk to Apple’s products. The smart home utopia is still a ways away, but the folks at SwitchBot are on a mission to fill in the gaps left by ‘big tech’. SwitchBot’s smart-home products range from everyday IoT devices to some rather unconventional smart home gear. The company makes great security cameras and thermo-hygrometers, but they also make robots that move your curtains, open your doors, and even press switches around the house, automating your garage door, coffee machine, AC, or any other device with a button. SwitchBot’s products really help realize that smart home utopia by unlocking new possibilities. The company uses a universal Matter protocol that allows its products to work with all other Matter-compatible smart devices from all leading manufacturers. That means Alexa can now tell you who’s at the door, Siri can open your curtains when your phone alarm rings, and Google can activate your coffee-maker with a simple voice command! Isn’t that a smart-life worth living?!

1. SwitchBot Curtain 3

We’ve evangelized the sheer genius of these smart curtain robots for 3 years now! The SwitchBot Curtain 3 is a simple robot that attaches to any curtain rod in under 30 seconds, turning your regular curtains into smart ones that you can control with your phone, with shortcuts, or even voice commands. Now in its third edition, the SwitchBot Curtain 3 boasts a new DynamiClamp design that allows it to work on a wide variety of curtain rods and tracks, moving curtains like you’d find in five-star hotels. Why do you need smart curtains, you ask? Aside from the convenience of being able to open/close your curtains without getting out of bed, these robots really uplift your smart home experience. You can sync your curtains with your morning alarm, or have Alexa automatically adjust them while you watch TV. Want to really make them worth your while? Connect them to your smart home and they’ll automatically close when it’s sunny outside, helping cut down on AC bills, or open up to let the right amount of natural light in, so you don’t have to switch the lights on during the day. The SwitchBot Curtain 3 can be controlled through 8 different methods, has a solar panel module to keep it running forever, and even operates on a quiet 25dB motor that feels like magic!

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Why is it noteworthy?

There’s an understated joy to simply saying “Alexa, Let there be light” and having your curtains magically open! SwitchBot’s 3rd Gen Curtain 3 is an iteration of its award-winning product that turns your regular curtains into magical motorized ones. The tiny bots take half a minute to attach onto a curtain rod or rail, working with almost any curtain style. Once placed, the bots slide up and down the rod/rail, carrying your curtain with it, and allowing you to live in a smarter, more comfortable future!

What we like

  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Can be configured and controlled in multiple ways
  • DynamiClamp design allows the Curtain 3 to navigate all sorts of rod designs.

What we dislike

  • Requires SwitchBot Hub for Voice Control feature

2. SwitchBot K10+ Mini Vacuum

Smaller than a 10-inch pizza, the SwitchBot K10+ might be the tiniest autonomous robot vacuum ever made. This compact size isn’t just a random dimension flex, it comes with benefits too as the K10+ now possesses the ability to reach into tighter spaces where your old robot vacuum couldn’t reach. Roughly 50% smaller than the average robot vacuum, the K10+ is up to 90% more efficient, cleaning even more parts of your house like behind the sofa, between the dining table/chairs, and underneath the coffee table (thanks to its 3.6-inch height). Its 2500Pa vacuum effectively picks up dust and debris in the K10+’s path, however, SwitchBot’s SilenTech technology caps the vacuum’s noise at a manageable 48 decibels. The robot vacuum doesn’t have its own dedicated wet mop, but SwitchBot solved that problem using a set of disposable Cleaning Pads that attach to the base of the vacuum, wet-wiping the floor instead. The Cleaning Pad can be emptied in the trash after each cycle, whereas the K10+ automatically empties its dust tank into a Smart Base that also charges the vacuum between routines. The K10+ can be configured and controlled via SwitchBot’s smartphone app, along with smart support for Alexa, Google Home, Siri Shortcuts, and IFTTT.

Click Here to Buy Now: $399.99 $499.99 ($100 off with coupon code “UP40BF0”). Hurry, deal ends in 48 hours!

Why is it noteworthy?

The world’s smallest vacuum is in itself quite a noteworthy feat! The K10+ is a petite little appliance that does its job quieter and more efficiently than your existing robot vacuum. It sucks and wet-mops (using Cleaning Pads) your floors, navigating those tough-to-reach spots that your Roomba can’t, and then conveniently disposes all the dust in its Smart Base, which boasts 4 liters of storage so you need to clean out the trash less often!

What we like

  • Compact design allows it to reach where most robot vacuums can’t
  • Smart Base stores up to a month’s worth of dirt to reduce trips to the trash can

What we dislike

  • Lack of advanced wet-mopping system like other flagship robot vacuums
  • No retractable wet-mop for when the K10+ climbs on carpets

3. SwitchBot Blind Tilt

The SwitchBot Blind Tilt is to horizontal blinds what the Curtain 3 is to curtains. The Blind Tilt retrofits onto your existing horizontal blinds, turning them into smart blinds that can be controlled remotely through an app, or even through voice commands. Equipped with built-in sensors and an AI-powered algorithm, the Blind Tilt detects the position of your blinds and the amount of light entering your room. These features enable the Blind Tilt to autonomously adjust your blinds to achieve your preferred room brightness at any time. Installing your SwitchBot Blind Tilt is a breeze, requiring no technical expertise or tools. It can be retrofitted onto most horizontal blinds with a twisting wand mechanism (with the exception of the ball-chain ones), and can handle blinds up to 3 meters wide. Once installed, the Blind Tilt can be easily controlled using SwitchBot’s app, through your smart home setup, or even voice commands when paired with SwitchBot’s Hub. Like the Curtain 3, the Blind Tilt can automatically close the blinds when it’s too hot outside, helping you save on air conditioning costs (and vice versa), or it can automatically start opening in the morning to sync with your alarm clock. Plus, with solar panel support, your smart blinds can even run on renewable energy!

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Blind Tilt adds the perfect touch of automation to your home or office, allowing you to quickly get a room dark before you fire the projector for a presentation deck, and then illuminate the room again for discussions and meetings after. It’s incredibly easy to install, and takes seconds to calibrate so the bot understands how much to open/close your blinds each time. And yes, you can connect multiple Blind Tilts within the app to control them together or individually.

What we like

  • Can be easily installed without technical expertise or tools
  • Sensors allow the Blind Tilt to automatically understand how much to open/close your blinds

What we dislike

  • Requires SwitchBot Hub for Voice Control feature
  • Doesn’t work with ball-chain blinds

4. SwitchBot Bot

The company’s first-ever IoT device, the SwitchBot Bot was designed to automate products that weren’t ‘smart’. Dubbed the ‘Button Pusher’, the SwitchBot Bot was an IoT gadget that would stick to switchboards or appliances, pushing switches and buttons with a plastic flipper so that you didn’t have to. Designed to be controlled via Bluetooth or even paired with a smart home hub for voice control, the SwitchBot Bot can turn on/off lights and fans, press your garage door button, or even work your coffee machine. Just align the Bot’s plastic flipper with the button/switch you want to push and an adhesive backing lets you securely attach the Bot in place. Connect it to your smart home setup and the Bot can additionally be programmed to follow routines, switching on the TV when there’s a football game on, or pairing with your alarm clock to press a button on your coffee machine just as you wake up… The possibilities are endless.

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Bot represents the absolute simplicity of SwitchBot’s approach to enhancing homes and lives. We’ve got smart homes with dumb switches, but a simple product like the Bot can help automate them, turning them into remote-controlled ones that can be either operated via an app, voice commands, smart home setups, or IFTTT routines. The Bot simply attaches itself onto a one-way or rocker-style switch, and comes in white or black colors to match your interior decor.

What we like

  • Automates switches that weren’t designed to be smart
  • Can be configured with your smart home to perform complex routines
  • Much cheaper than upgrading to a smart switch or appliance

What we dislike

  • Requires SwitchBot Hub for Voice Control and Smart Home configuration
  • Looks a little intrusive when stuck on top of appliances
  • Makes manual switch/button pushing a little annoying

5. SwitchBot Bluetooth Electronic Smart Lock

What the Bot does to switches, the SwitchBot Smart Lock does to single deadbolt locks. Designed to fit over your standard single deadbolt lock, the SwitchBot Smart Lock automates it, allowing you to open it using an app, Bluetooth, proximity, or even voice commands. A motor in the device turns your door’s lock, either locking or unlocking it. It fits on the inside, still allowing you to use your keys from the outside or even manually turn the lock with your hands if you don’t have the app (or if a guest is opening/closing your door for you). The lock interfaces with the SwitchBot app via Bluetooth, working with your Apple Watch too. Alternatively, pair it with the Hub for WiFi-based connectivity and you can control it through your voice or even configure it with your smart doorbell to open for approved people. The Smart Lock is protected by 128-bit AES encryption and runs on 3V CR123A batteries that give it up to 6 months of use if operated on an average of 10 times a day. Batteries run out? You can still manually operate the lock with your keys/hands!

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Why is it noteworthy?

The SwitchBot Lock is a smart device that retrofits onto your existing door lock, transforming it from a manual lock into an automated one. This innovative gadget is designed to attach over almost any standard single deadbolt lock, allowing you to lock or unlock your door via Bluetooth (or WiFi if you use the SwitchBot Hub) using your phone or even your Apple Watch. The SwitchBot Lock operates on the industry-standard 128-bit AES encryption for added security. And if all else fails, you can still operate the lock manually.

What we like

  • Easy installation
  • Automatically locks/unlocks doors through wireless commands
  • Can still use the lock manually
  • Can remove it while shifting homes

What we dislike

  • Needs SwitchBot Hub for WiFi control
  • Doesn’t fit onto other types of locks

6. SwitchBot Hub 2

The Hub 2 is pretty much the secret sauce behind what gives SwitchBot’s products their true IoT features. Whether it’s the curtain or blind bot, the switch-pressing bot, or even SwitchBot’s retrofittable door locks, almost all the products support Bluetooth connectivity… but add a Hub 2 to your smart home and all of SwitchBot’s products get instant WiFi connectivity as well as Matter compatibility. This means your smart speaker can interface with your curtains, your thermostat can automatically push buttons to turn your fans on or off, and your Apple Watch can automatically unlock your door as you pull into the garage. An integrated infrared blaster also allows your Hub 2 to control infrared-based devices like your air conditioner or TV, unlocking added functionality that seamlessly works across Apple, Amazon, and Google smart home ecosystems. The Hub 2, aside from being a Matter-based IoT hub, even has a built-in thermometer/hygrometer that tells you how temperate and humid your environment is, either on SwitchBot’s app or on the Hub 2’s display.

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Hub 2 is a small addition to your smart home setup, but a massive game-changer for your smart home’s operability. It nonchalantly sits in a strategic position at your home, controlling all your SwitchBot and IR-based devices through smart routines and voice commands. The adoption of the Matter protocol makes the Hub 2 even more easy to use given that it can intercommunicate between Google, Amazon, and Apple IoT devices so you aren’t stuck within one product ecosystem.

What we like

  • Supports Matter
  • Can replace IR remotes
  • Can control products with voice commands and Wi-Fi

What we dislike

  • Needs to be within range for certain devices
  • Display can’t be configured to show extra information beyond temperature/humidity
  • Might need to install multiple Hubs in larger homes

7. SwitchBot Outdoor Meter

Simply put, the Outdoor Meter is a universally usable thermo-hygrometer that measures temperature and humidity pretty much anywhere. It’s IP65 waterproof, comes with a lanyard, and can be hung/placed anywhere to actively measure temperature and humidity, relaying information to the SwitchBot app. This makes the Outdoor Meter rather useful in specific scenarios like greenhouses, pet enclosures, wine cellars, cigar rooms, museum archives, and even within your home. The fact that it measures temperature and humidity is vastly enhanced by the Outdoor Meter’s ability to communicate with your Smart Home via the SwitchBot Hub. Add a Hub to the mix and this meter can now control your thermostat, activate your AC or humidifier, or even ping you with alerts that can help you stay on top of things.

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Outdoor Meter (although also made for indoor use) is a non-expensive device that brings the power of data to your smart-home setup. Hang it anywhere, indoors or outdoors, in the sun or in the rain, and the device still delivers accurate data to you via the SwitchBot app. It’s designed to be wireless, so you can carry it around with you too, and becomes even more useful when paired directly with your smart home setup to enact some incredibly useful home routines… or even outdoor ones, like automatically deploying the sprinklers on a hot, dry summer day!

What we like

  • Portable Design with lanyard and IP65 rating
  • Affordable

What we dislike

  • No display
  • Bluetooth connectivity holds the Outdoor Meter back
  • 2.4GHz Bluetooth waveband can potentially interfere with Wi-Fi and Zigbee

8. SwitchBot Meter Plus

The Meter Plus is the Outdoor Meter’s indoor sibling. Built with a large seven-segment LCD screen, the Meter Plus can be placed anywhere in your house, allowing you to actively measure the temperature and humidity of your space at all times. Use it in a wine cellar, in your parents or elderly person’s bedroom, in a pet enclosure, or in your greenhouse, and the Meter Plus keeps you informed with its built-in thermometer and hygrometer. The large display on the Meter Plus makes it easy to view details, and data is also transmitted to the SwitchBot app, where you can then set complex routines by connecting the AC and humidifier to the Meter Plus to maintain the perfect temperature. You would need a Hub to do that, though.

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Why is it noteworthy?

A small yet relatively visible meter, the SwitchBot Meter Plus is like having your own personal meteorological department in every room. The Meter Plus gives real-time readings of temperature and humidity, making it perfect for rooms where maintaining a certain environment is absolutely key.

What we like

  • Affordable
  • Uses AAA batteries
  • Lasts for 1 whole year on a full charge

What we dislike

  • Screen can’t be customized to display any other information
  • The SwitchBot Hub already has a built-in thermo-hygrometer
  • Has to be within range of the Hub, making it redundant

9. SwitchBot Pan/Tilt Cam 2K

I imagine spy films would be a lot shorter if banks, casinos, and art galleries had the SwitchBot Pan/Tilt Cam 2K instead of your average CCTV camera. Unlike most security cameras that just sit in one position, pointing in a general area, the Pan/Tilt Cam 2K has the ability to turn and look around. With a 360° panning feature, and the ability to tilt 115° up or down, the Pan/Tilt Cam 2K can pretty much look anywhere it needs to, eliminating any blind spots. The camera comes equipped with a phenomenally powerful 2K sensor that works well in the day, but also shoots clearly in the dark thanks to night vision capabilities. If all that wasn’t enough, the camera even has AI-powered motion and human tracking that lets it catch any whiff of foul-play. Motion alerts can be sent directly to your phone, and the camera records 24×7, working diligently through the day. Recordings get stored both locally via SD card or on the cloud if you opt for a subscription, along with tags for detections or any events during the day. The Pan/Tilt Cam 2K might seem perfect for offices or shops, but it’s also designed for homes, with a two-way audio setup that lets you use the camera to communicate with people or pets in your house. If you’re worried about privacy, the camera comes with its own lens-cover that doubles as a privacy filter too. Finally, like all of SwitchBot’s products, the Pan/Tilt Cam 2K gets the secret sauce of Hub integration, allowing you to communicate with the camera using Alexa, Google, Siri, and even IFTTT.

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Pan/Tilt Cam 2K is like the Eye of Sauron. It sees every single thing. The camera’s ability to look around, along with its 2K clarity, Night Vision, and Motion Tracking make it a perfect surveillance device for your home, garage, etc. Use it as a standalone device, a connected smart home gadget, or even a nifty intercom for your kids/pets thanks to that two-way audio feature. That privacy mask is a nifty added feature too…

What we like

  • 360° panning and 115° tilting practically eliminates any blind spots
  • Great Video Quality (Especially at Night)
  • Motion Tracking

What we dislike

  • Cloud storage can get expensive
  • Panning and Tilting features make the camera larger than most

10. SwitchBot Outdoor Spotlight Cam

In the pursuit of designing a surveillance device, it’s common to go a little overboard with details and features. SwitchBot’s Outdoor Spotlight Cam is an example of the opposite. It comes with an elegant ball-shaped design that fits cleanly into a socket holder that you mount on your wall, fence, ceiling, etc. Rotate the ball-shaped camera to face exactly where you need it to, set the camera up on SwitchBot’s app, and you’re good to go. A 1080p lens shows you everything in high definition, especially with its 126° diagonal FoV and its IR night vision capabilities. Like any good security camera, the Outdoor Spotlight Cam has motion and human detection, but as mentioned in its name, it sports two powerful spotlights that illuminate the second it detects anything suspicious. Video logs get stored locally on the camera (with an SD card slot that supports up to 256Gb) or even online if you opt for a cloud storage subscription (with 128-bit AES encryption), and can be accessed via SwitchBot’s app. Emergency alerts get sent to the app too, with real-time footage that you can respond to using the Outdoor Spotlight Cam’s two-way audio feature with a powerful 100dB speaker. Or better still, connect the cam to your smart home via the SwitchBot Hub to set routines like opening the door for guests, or more cleverly, triggering the sprinklers if a raccoon or coyote makes it into your backyard! The Outdoor Spotlight Cam comes with a whopping built-in 10,000mAh battery that has a 90-day standby, but if constantly worrying about charging your camera annoys you, SwitchBot has a solar panel accessory that keeps your camera running all year long!

Click Here to Buy Now: $62.99 $89.99 (30% off with coupon code “UP40BF0”). Hurry, deal ends in 48 hours!

Why is it noteworthy?

The Outdoor Spotlight Cam ticks all the right boxes with a high-definition 1080p camera, night vision, motion tracking, two powerful spotlights, two-way audio, and a whopping 10,000mAh battery, all packed into a compact, waterproof, ball-shaped design that plugs into its socket-shaped holder.

What we like

  • 10,000 mAh battery with option for solar-powering
  • That 100dB speaker is LOUD

What we dislike

  • Only connects via 2.4 GHz
  • No pan/tilt feature like the previous camera
  • Ball-and-socket design is intuitive to mount, but also easy to pluck out and steal

Visit SwitchBot’s Home Page | Amazon Page to view all their Smart Home Products!

The post Top 10 smart home gadgets with IoT that enable home automation for enhanced everyday life first appeared on Yanko Design.

Bring The Sunlight Into Your Homes Even Through The Night

Don’t get enough sunlight at home to grow your plants? This one is for you! In the ever-evolving world of smart technology, there’s a new contender that’s set to revolutionize the way we care for our indoor plants – Equinox. More than just a grow light, Equinox is a meticulously designed product that mimics the natural orbit of the sun, ensuring your pet plants receive the optimal light they need for robust growth and vitality.

Designer: Yechan Choi (Yekki)

Equinox takes its inspiration from the celestial dance of the sun around the Earth, specifically designed to replicate the sun’s position in the sky. The name itself, Equinox, signifies the time when day and night are of equal length, a crucial period in the natural world. This smart grow light is engineered to provide your plants with the same quality and intensity of light they would receive outdoors.

One of the standout features of Equinox is its ability to provide light at the same angle as the sun. This is achieved through a sophisticated system of LEDs that move in calculated angles over time. By utilizing sunrise and sunset time data, Equinox ensures that your plants receive the right spectrum of light throughout the day, promoting photosynthesis and fostering healthy growth.

Equinox goes beyond traditional grow lights by integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technology. With built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, you can effortlessly control the brightness and color temperature of the lights using a dedicated app on your smartphone. The app allows for easy customization, ensuring that your plants receive the perfect amount of light at any given time.

Adding an extra layer of convenience, physical dials on the Equinox device itself offer a tactile and intuitive way to adjust settings. This combination of high-tech connectivity and user-friendly controls makes Equinox accessible to all, from seasoned plant enthusiasts to those new to indoor gardening.

Equinox recognizes that your plants have different needs during the day and night. During the daytime, you can simulate the vibrancy of the outdoors with bright, clear light that encourages active photosynthesis. As night falls, you have the option to create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere for both you and your plants by switching to warmer-colored light.

This adaptability ensures that your indoor space remains both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with Equinox seamlessly integrating into your daily routine. Equinox not only benefits your plants but also contributes to a more sustainable future. By providing the right amount of light precisely when needed, it minimizes energy waste, making it an eco-friendly choice for conscientious consumers.

Equinox is more than just a grow light; it’s a technological marvel that brings the beauty and precision of nature into your home. From its celestial design to its intelligent programming and user-friendly controls, Equinox sets a new standard for indoor plant care. Embrace the future of gardening with Equinox, and watch your plants thrive under its nurturing light.

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The Frame wall pad elevates smart home design with Korean elegance and utmost IoT convenience

Step into the future of home technology with The Frame, a pinnacle creation for Kocom, the renowned Korean smart home appliance company. Crafted with precision and elegance, this wall pad is designed to redefine the smart home experience with absolute convenience and comfort.

Measuring an impressive 13.3 inches, The Frame boasts a full-screen touch system, setting it apart as a sophisticated and user-friendly centerpiece on the wall of any living space. What distinguishes The Frame isn’t just its functionality but the impeccable design as well. Wrapped in a quiet yet charismatic color palette and adorned with the soft fabric of Kvadrat, the Frame strikes the perfect balance between technology and aesthetics.

Designer: Dive Design, Kyumin Hwang and Minki Kim

Imagine controlling your entire home’s IoT equipment and front door with a simple touch on this smart wall pad. Installed in apartments, The Frame seamlessly integrates into the most sophisticated living spaces, offering a new level of control and convenience making it more than just a device; a statement piece in your lifestyle!

The magic mirror display of The Frame not only offers a glimpse into the future but also seamlessly merges with high-end furniture, creating an illusion of it being a natural part of the interior. It is thus designed to break away from the mundane, The Frame’s unique presence defies the ordinary trend of ubiquitous white-boxed devices, so its minimalistic but luxurious colors and attention to detail set it apart as a design masterwork.

In a world flooded with smart home gadgets, The Frame stands out as an embodiment of elegance, and technological advancement. It’s a seamless integration of technology and artistry, elevating the very essence of what a smart home device can be. With its fusion of Korean sophistication, the Frame is little about what it does, but how it becomes an integral part of your modern living space!

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Get Notified in Style: Aqara’s New Matter Ceiling Light Features a Notification Indicator Ring

Why slide into someone’s DMs when you could quite literally ‘light up their life’? Aqara’s IFA 2023 showcase includes a slew of products, but its most noteworthy is a Matter-enabled ceiling light that features a glowing outer ring that lights up when you get a notification. Now, it’s important to note that the light’s outer ring doesn’t necessarily connect to apps on your phone (although an update would enable this), but rather to other smart devices around your house. In theory, the individually addressable outer LED ring could shine to let you know if there’s a leak in the bathroom, if the door’s open, or if there’s a pest/intruder in your backyard. The central disc of the Ceiling Light T1M features a range of 16 million different colors, and can be used as your conventional smart home light for lighting your space, setting the mood, or just working as a night lamp while you do a midnight fridge raid.

Aqara, known for its Zigbee-supported products, claims that its ceiling light has low power consumption during idle periods and is compatible with Matter-over-bridge. Although pricing and availability details have not been disclosed by Aqara, the light’s unique feature of an independently addressable ring sets it apart from other smart ceiling lights like those in the Hue lineup.

Designer: Aqara

As a part of its IFA 2023 lineup, the company has also unveiled the Camera E1, a new indoor security camera that boasts a 2K resolution and supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. While it may not be Matter-enabled, this pan and tilt camera is still compatible with various smart home platforms such as Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. It comes equipped with AI-powered features like person detection and tracking, and offers multiple storage options including microSD cards, cloud storage, and network-attached storage (NAS).

There’s also the Matter-over-Thread smart lock — an efficient smart lock that eliminates the need for lock replacement. The Smart Lock U200, Aqara mentions, seamlessly operates with your existing cylinders, saving you the hassle of drilling or door modifications. This advanced innovation offers various unlocking methods, including Aqara’s NFC card (or an NFC-enabled device), fingerprint verification, and PIN codes. While the exact product availability is undisclosed, Aqara plans to launch it on Kickstarter later this year.

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These Matter-enabled modular cube lights are perfect for gaming, music, and smart-home setups

I appreciate when products are functional and no-nonsense at the same time. What else do I say about a modular, multi-functional set of cube-based lights that are quite simply called Cube? Meet the Yeelight Cubes, a set of magnetic, modular, and IoT-controlled lights that can be used for a variety of scenarios. Whether you’re a gamer or YouTuber looking to RGB-ify your space, a film nerd who’d like a backlight for your TV so your wall can color-match your movies, an audiophile who wants his room’s lighting to vibe to his music selection, or just an IoT enthusiast who wants to tinker with modular lights to build out different smart home products, the Cube’s laundry-list of features has something for you. With three cube variants – a Matrix Cube or text and symbols, a Panel Cube for lights and gradients, and a Spotlight Cube for shining light on surfaces like your wall, the Yeelight Cubes give you the ability to build out your lighting rig. Each cube comes with a modular design featuring pogo pin connectors and magnets that let you snap cubes together. A base unit lets you connect your creation to a power source, and mobile and desktop apps give you immense amounts of control over your newly built lighting setup. See? Functional and no-nonsense…

Designer: Yeelight

Click Here to Buy Now: $198 $310 (36% off) Standard Kit with 4 Matrix Cubes + 1 Panel Cube + 1 Spotlight Cube + 1 Base & Adapter
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The Yeelight Cubes are both customizable and incredibly capable, with their ability to transform into just the kind of light you’re looking for. The standard bundle of cubes comes with 4 matrix cubes, a panel cube, and a spotlight cube (like the setup shown above), letting you build out basic tools like a clock, music equalizer, notification machine, or any other type of device you want. Add additional cubes to the mix and you can get even more complex with your creations, building out 8-bit signboards, massive RGB ambient lights, or an entire discotheque setup that responds in real time to the music you play. That cheap Tiktok sunset lamp has nothing on the Cube’s dynamism and range of possibilities.

The three cubes form the framework for the Yeelight modular system. Like if LEGO met light!

What makes these lights more interesting than your average household LED bulb is their ability to be just the kind of lights you want them to be. Not only do you get to snap them together piece by piece to build the arrangement you need, you can activate/toggle them in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for just ambient colors, there’s a bunch of themes on the app. A DIY painter lets you paint each individual pixel on the Matrix block, and smartphone and desktop apps let you configure the Cube lights to work just how you want them to. Moreover, the Yeelight Cubes are IoT-ready and Matter-compatible, which means they can integrate into your smart home ecosystem of Matter-enabled products, and can be even activated via voice commands.

Immensely configurable thanks to its desktop Yeelight Station program and the smartphone app, the Yeelight Cubes can be programmed to do things like mirror the colors on your monitor/screen, react to music playing on your smart speakers, or even respond to your gameplay by connecting to it through programs like Razer Chroma or Overwolf. The smartphone app lets you tap into a variety of presets and dynamic themes, including giving you the ability to customize color and LED-paint the Cubes with your own colors, gradients, and shapes. The app even gives you simple controls to turn your Cube arrays into table clocks, calendars, and more.

Setting up your Cubes are a breeze as they simply snap and orient just the way you want them to. Given their power requirements, you can snap a maximum of 6 cubes to one base unit and plug them into an outlet. Any additional cubes will require an extra base and a secondary power outlet. You can then hop onto the Yeelight Station desktop app or the smartphone app to set your modules up to behave the way you want, or integrate them with your smart-home thanks to its Matter certification. Compliance with the Matter IoT standard makes the Yeelight Cube compatible with home assistants like Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Home Assistant, and more. The Yeelight Cubes run Bluetooth 5.1 and 2,4GHz WiFi to give them their broad connectivity.

Unlike other smart light solutions from brands like Nanoleaf, Govee, or Philips Hue, the Yeelight Cubes boast a kind of versatility and modularity that’s difficult to achieve otherwise. With matrix, panel, and even spotlight cube variants, you can achieve any kind of light-based setup you’re looking for, and with Matter compatibility, your Yeelight Cube setup becomes a part of your smart-home experience, so you can fire up responsive disco-lights while listening to Miley Cyrus’ 80’s inspired hit Flowers, or a backlight for your desktop monitor while you play Elden Ring or while you watch movies and documentaries online.

The Yeelight Cube comes as a $198 bundle of 6 lights, including 4 matrix cubes, a panel cube, and a spotlight cube, along with the connector base and power adapter. Individual add-on cubes can be added to your pledge for a price.

Click Here to Buy Now: $198 $310 (36% off) Standard Kit includes 4x Dot Matrix Cube + 1x Panel Cube + 1x Spotlight Cube + 1x Base & Adapter
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SwitchBot’s latest Hub 2 uses Matter to standardize and integrate all your IoT smart devices

Your smart home just got a lot more smarter. At CES 2023, SwitchBot just announced the Hub 2, their Wi-Fi-based smart-home accessory that communicates with SwitchBot’s products, letting you integrate them in a way that makes your home and life smarter. The Hub 2 is SwitchBot’s first product to now operate using the Matter protocol, which helps unite IoT devices under a single universal standard.

The new Matter protocol makes the Hub 2 even more powerful, allowing it to seamlessly connect to and communicate between different IoT devices from different manufacturers running different software. The Hub 2 now lets your smart lights work together with your smart curtain and your smart door lock to be operated by your smart speaker, regardless of which AI assistant it runs.

Designer: Woan Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

Wondering what Matter is? Well, think about it this way – an Apple smart speaker can’t necessarily communicate with an Alexa-enabled smart light, right? Similarly, your Apple and Google devices aren’t cross-compatible, making setting up a smart home incredibly difficult because each device from a different manufacturer speaks a different language. If all devices speak multiple incompatible languages, Matter is like the universal language that allows all your devices to communicate. Matter is like music, the truly universal language.

The Hub 2 is SwitchBot’s gradual yet highly anticipated foray into the Matter-compatible smart home universe. SwitchBot holds the mantle for making some of the most innovative award-winning products that turn regular experiences into smart ones. The SwitchBot Curtain allows you to open and close your curtains based on alarms or voice commands. The SwitchBot Lock takes the single deadbolt lock on your main door and turns it into a smart lock that can either be opened with your phone or your Apple Watch. With the Hub 2, now your SwitchBot devices (and even other smart home gadgets) can all be controlled by a centralized system, whether it’s your Apple Home or Google Home, or a bunch of other smart home systems. Moreover, the Hub 2’s built-in thermo-hygrometer function lets you also check your home’s temperature and humidity either on the Hub 2’s integrated display or within Apple Home, and two Scene keys on the front of the Hub let you trigger presets and shortcuts for your SwitchBot devices like the Curtain or the SwitchBot Bot (which uses a robotic arm to flip switches on or off).

The Hub 2 is just the beginning of SwitchBot’s journey to smart-home dominance. As the Hub 2 now complies with the Matter standard, SwitchBot will gradually have all its IoT products be compatible with Matter. The company announced that the SwitchBot Curtain will be the first to support Matter via an OTA update sometime in February or March. “Other SwitchBot products will be able to support Matter in sequence throughout this year,” the company said.

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This tiny IoT ball may be the connected, punching workout you need

One of the constant challenges for me personally is to find a workout that I will not get bored with, that will help me shed pounds, and that will not be so difficult. I know that probably said workout that meets all those factors still doesn’t exist but when the day comes when that will happen will probably be the happiest day of my life (and my doctor too). For now, I’m always on the lookout for products or at least concepts that may appeal to this couch potato who’s desperately in need of a workout.

Designers: Katerina Kopytina, Nikita Bukuros

One such product concept that is pretty interesting is Bownce, a small ball that can get your perspiring and training your muscle groups with the help of technology. It calls itself “the first IoT ball of its kind”. It is small enough and easy to install that you can bring it with you to the office, outside in your backyard, or wherever room/space in your house you feel most comfortable. It’s also small enough that it’s not that intimidating, especially for newbies like me that want to start punching things.

What makes it different from other workout balls, aside from its size, is that it has integrated electric components so you’ll be able to track your performance. The app that you connect to the device logs your punches when you work out and gives you real-time statistics so you can adjust how you punch, how fast you do it, the force, duration, etc. The device is attached to the ceiling and the floor, with a small ball on a string and it is connected to the app.

Think of it as a punching bag that’s not a bag but a small ball. The floor fixture is able to let the ball move freely and bounce back (hence, the name) after hitting. I don’t know about the force needed to hit the ball but it seems that you need some to be able to consider this a workout anyway. The fact that it looks simple and not overwhelming like your usual punching stuff is what appeals to me. The fact that it’s IoT also is a bonus. Now whether I won’t get bored with it is the main question.

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This smart lock concept keeps a watchful eye on sliding doors and windows

Although people have been keeping their valuables at home for ages, our homes themselves have now also become more valuable because of the plethora of advanced devices that power them. Smart locks for smart homes are becoming more common in the market, even though not everyone is still convinced of their foolproof security. That said, threats don’t only come through the front door, though, and typical smart locks can’t do anything about windows or other types of doors, for that matter. There is definitely a market waiting to be conquered here, and this smart lock module concept is designed specifically to target one particular type of door or window, the type that slides open to give access to the people and treasures inside your humble abode.

Designer: Haechan Ryu

Typical smart door locks are designed to work only with the most common type of front door, the one that has a knob to turn and swings open or close. Their designs are pretty much pointless for sliding doors, which are sometimes easier to break into because of their location at the back or sides of houses. This kind of door offers an opportunity to design not only a different type of lock but also a lock that offers a convenience you might not be able to have with the conventional smart door lock.

The Plus Link Z concept, designed to work with a real-world Plus Link smart home security platform, is practically the combination of a smart door lock, a security camera, and a slide door opener. The first two functions are pretty much on par with any kind of smart lock, allowing the homeowner to remotely lock or unlock a door as well as keep an eye on people outside the door. It might be possible to eventually add some sort of face recognition to this external camera, but monitoring is its primary purpose for this design.

What makes this IoT security module a little different is that it can also automatically open and close the sliding door. Typical smart door locks can only lock and unlock doors, leaving you to manually push or pull the door. The Plus Link Z uses motorized gears that run the door’s top frame to slide it left or right. Because of this design, it isn’t necessary to change or modify the door itself, and you simply have to install the security module above it and the attached camera on the outside.

The Plus Link Z concept, while innovative, also looks a bit complicated and probably needs a professional to install it. It also raises concern whether those gears will eventually damage the door frame through its friction. Nonetheless, the idea itself is commendable in trying to tackle an often overlooked security problem at home, where the front door might be smartly secured while the other doors and windows are left vulnerable to a simple break-in.

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This minimalist wooden board offers a interior-friendly way to control your home with Alexa

The last thing you probably expected is for a beautiful piece of wood to be your control dashboard for your smart home.

The Internet of Things has slowly but surely invaded our homes in the guise of smart lighting, dynamic photo frames, and, of course, smart speakers. While many of these are designed to look stylish and handsome, most of them carry an aesthetic that often clashes with minimalist rooms or decor. Smart speakers are perhaps the biggest culprits in this regard, but a Japanese company has found a solution that lets you put Alexa-powered smart speakers out of sight.

Designer: mui Lab

mui looks like an unassuming block of wood, but it’s actually just as talented as a smart speaker. Actually, it can do more than what most voice-only speakers can, like the Amazon Echo, because it has a touch panel on its front surface. Unlike a busy and overwhelming touch screen, however, the mui board presents visual feedback as monochromatic icons and text in a dot-matrix style that matches the board’s minimalist aesthetic.

More than just being a novel way to present a smart home hub, mui offers an equally unique approach to mixing nature and technology. Rather than the usual cold elements of a tablet, a phone, or even a smart speaker, the wooden board adds a warm and almost human touch to interact with devices and appliances. Its designers want to evoke joy and calm, feelings that should be associated with the home in the first place.

Despite its minimalist appearance, the mui is by no means minimal in features. In addition to its own mobile app, mui Lab is introducing a new “calm” interface that turns the board into a visual interface for connected Amazon Alexa speakers. That’s in addition to the original mui Platform’s compatibility with the new Matter smart home platform.

Inspired by Taoist philosophy, the mui board offers a refreshing spin on how we interact with our smart homes, basically by doing or showing almost nothing. It’s not going to appeal to people who prefer seeing everything in one go, but this design will definitely go well with rooms and furniture that try to hide the tech behind soothing organic materials.

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This smart kitchen appliance replaces a busy control panel with a single interactive knob to easily weigh your food!

Hoto is a smart kitchen scale for the modern home that scales down its control panel to a single interactive knob and connects other Hoto users from across the world together via an accompanying social media channel.

Smart kitchen appliances have changed the game of cooking. With integrated social media channels, smartphone apps, and haptic sensors, smart technology catapults kitchen appliances into the future. From all-electric coffee brewers with built-in WiFi to Bluetooth-operated smart skillets, the limit does not exist for designers of modern kitchen appliances. Hoto, a smart kitchen scale designed by Lu Zheng, weaves together the best parts of smart technology including accompanied social media channels and interactive control panels.

The best home recipes usually have the most marked instructions, indicating every specificity to the half-ounce. To make sure we get the finished product on par with granny’s, kitchen scales come in handy. Guiding us through the weight of each ingredient, kitchen scales keep tabs on every ingredient in any given recipe and allow us to track what we consume on a daily basis.

Zheng’s smart kitchen scale, Hoto, is minimal by design, adorned with not much more than stainless steel controls and a polished, reflective sheen. The scale scales back on the number of controls and buttons, consolidating every control into one interactive knob that functions as the scale’s, power sensor, weight dial, and net-zero button.

In addition to the appliance’s interactive control switch, Hoto comes with an accompanying social media app that allows other Hoto users to share their recipes and pre-measured weight parameters.

Designer: Lu Zheng

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