Aqara works on a Zigbee outlet

We have been able to see on the homekitnews website a small video where you see a working Aqara smart outlet, so it looks like it will soon be available for the European market.

As you may know, Aqara recently presented an interesting list of Zigbee 3.0 devices that renews the range of products it has, but it seems that it hasn’t presented everything it had ready.

Aqara outlet

In the video we can see how they test the outlet using Xiaomi’s App, Mi Home, so it would be confirmed, as with all other devices, that it is fully compatible with Xiaomi’s ecosystem.

There is not much information about the new Aqara outlet, but we think it will work with Zigbee 3.0 to match the latest range of products presented by the brand, so it would need a gateway to work.

In addition, it can be seen in a moment of the video that the outlet seems to control the consumption of it, although it goes out totally to 0W since it has nothing connected, but, when showing it, it indicates us that if it will be able to read it.

The little information you have from this smart outlet is almost only what we can deduce from the 10 seconds of the video and the connectivity that we assume will be similar to the last devices presented.

However, the data of this new smart plug could vary, since Xiaomi has a version both WiFi and Zigbee plug and many are the manufacturers who have opted for WiFi as connectivity, but, we believe that Aqara is more focused on launching the collection of products with Zigbee 3.0 protocol.

We will be watching the information that may come out about this new device to expand the confirmed data on this and other possible Aqara devices.

Sonos premium wireless headphone

Sonos would be working on some premium wireless headphones that could be offered for sale for about $300.

Sonos could expand its business by launching premium wireless headsets. The indiscretion comes from Bloomberg which shows how the company could decide to focus on this market segment after having proposed for years almost exclusively audio speakers. There are no details about these new products. However, the source shows that Sonos headphones will certainly be characterized to support the use of voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Image result for sonos wireless headphone

The project is still at the beginning and therefore it is not clear when they could be officially launched. Surely over the next few months will come out more information on these new features. On the part of Sonos, however, it’s a logical choice. The company, in fact, is trying to expand its presence in the audio market and the choice to focus on products such as headphones is certainly a logical and correct choice.

However, Sonos will have to be careful. There are already some premium headphone manufacturers on the market that offer integration with voice assistants as well as other sophisticated technical solutions. Sonos headsets will have to compete with popular products such as Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless, Bowers & Wilkins PX, Bose QC35, Sony WH1000XM3 and Beats Solo3 Wireless. Sonos will therefore need to create a product that stands out and offers users the highest level of sound quality as well as unique features.

Of course, this quality will also be reflected in the final price. The source reports that Sonos’ future premium wireless headphones may cost more than $300. Niche products, therefore, and only for true lovers of quality music.

All that remains, then, is to wait and find out what Sonos has in store for its most loyal customers.

BEOSOUND SHAPE: THE LOUDSPEAKER AS A WORK OF ART ON THE WALL

Only professionals can recognize this speaker. The new BeoSound Shape from Bang & Olufsen looks more like a work of art on the wall. It’s a wireless speaker system.

BeoSound Shape is a modular loudspeaker system consisting of hexagonal tiles that can be attached to the wall in any number and pattern.

BeoSound Shape will also provide resonance damping functions to reduce reverberation in large rooms.

BEOSOUND SHAPE

BeoSound Shape consists of several tiles, each containing a loudspeaker, amplifier or acoustic damper. At least six tiles are combined to form a whole. Not only can the arrangement of BeoSound Shape be customized, the speaker system also offers a wide range of colors and fabrics.

Bang & Olufsen also wants to offer a tool to design tile patterns online.

The BeoSound Core connection hub, hidden behind one of the hexagonal tiles, allows wireless streaming via AirPlay, Chromecast or Bluetooth. As usual with Bang & Olufsen, the tiles also have a multi-room function. Different music tracks can be played in different rooms or one track can be played in the entire home.

BeoSound Shape is available from August 2017. Of course, the price depends on the size and the fabric selection. Depending on the individual selection, the price for a standard setup is expected to be around 4,000 euros.

Dyson smart air purifier – Pure Cool Link Test

A smart air purifier, this is Dyson’s latest addition: the Pure Cool Link. The air we breathe is not very healthy. Surrounded by polluting particles, we got used to it. So Dyson developed something to break these bad habits. Follow the guide, we have tested its effectiveness.

  • Brand: Dyson
  • Category: smart air purifier
  • Availability: Available
  • Price: 579 euros
  • Connection: WiFi
  • Compatibility: Android and iOS
  • Tested with: Alcatel One Touch Idol 3

Unboxing of the Pure Cool Link

An imposing product, an imposing box. The Pure Cool Link has the advantage of being light and, above all, practical. Indeed, it does not open from the top but from the front, which allows the purifier to be removed without having to lift it or get in the head with the whole thing. The product appears already assembled and equipped with a filter, which allows it to be functional from the moment it leaves the box.

pure cool link

Next to it, you will not be surprised to find the user manual, on which is written the product serial number and the WiFi code of the purifier, which you will need for the application.

Design and ergonomics

For its size, the Pure Cool Link is rather lightweight and can be easily installed in any corner of the room. With a neat and minimalist design, it consists of a cylinder, containing the air filter and the tower that distributes it throughout the room. Its refined style allows it to be installed in most interiors without any problems. In our country, at least, he was doing very well.

Lightweight, but strong. In any case, this is Dyson’s wish for this smart air purifier. If you are interested in its material, you should know that it is ABS, the same material used for motorcycle helmets. For example, Dyson claims to have dropped a Pure Cool Link in concrete stairs to prove its strength. We have not gone that far, and even if we doubt that the aircraft can withstand such a fall, it has already fallen a few times to the ground without any problem.

The practical side of this air purifier also lies in the fact that it is possible to remove the remote control. On top of it is a magnetic holder on which the remote control is placed. Last but not least: the Pure Cool Link comes in two models: one to be placed on a table and the tower. This is the one we tested for you.

Pure Link Application

Once your purifier is connected to the Pure Link application, available on iOS and Android, you can access details of your home’s air quality. The humidity level and even the temperature are indicated.

We must recognize that the application is particularly intuitive and easy to use. With a few finger movements, the user becomes able to program his Pure Cool Link to automatically turn it on at certain times of the day. And if you don’t know how to use it and you don’t like reading the manual (seriously, who likes to read the manuals?), you can always click on Product Guide.
A real virtual user guide, everything is detailed so that you can use the smart purifier without difficulty: purification modes, replacing the remote control battery or filter or how to clean the Dyson.

Using the Pure Cool Link

According to the application readings, the air is effectively purified and after a few hours (depending on the size of the room), the first differences in air quality can be noticed. It is difficult to judge its purity effectively without professional equipment. On the other hand, we can say that the odours of perspiration or food are well filtered (which is useful when your colleagues eat while working and do not open the window, we know about it).

In terms of use, the Pure Cool Link will be more or less noisy depending on the level at which you run it, but it remains generally relatively discreet and has a quieter night mode. Note, however, that with headphones on, the device hardly hears at all.

The Dyson Pure Cool Link purifier is actually equipped with a 360° HEPA fiberglass filter. This technology removes 99.95% of allergens and air pollutants, however small they may be. The intelligent sensors in the device detect pollution peaks to adjust the purification level. And Dyson also allows you to cool your room in the summer with the fan mode.

In conclusion: the Pure Cool Link works well, the dedicated application is intuitive and has an elegant design, even if some people find it to be plastic. The main black spot remains its price, 499€ for the small model and 579€ for the tower. A little high compared to those practiced by the competition, which range from 100€ to 700€ depending on the models (less than 200€ for the Xiaomi air purifier). Not surprising considering that Dyson presents its Pure Cool Link as a quality product, but it is likely that this price prevents it from settling in the majority of homes.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 Test

In an increasingly connected world, Ring has managed to make its mark with its home automation devices. In particular, its connected bells have been very successful, and a lot is expected of Ring Video Doorbell 2. But what does the product bring to the range? The answer in test.

If many films and novels have imagined worlds filled with cameras, we can say that this is the case with ours. Today, they are everywhere and are increasingly connected. The company Ring has thus based itself on these to propose objects linked to the house. With Ring Video Doorbell 2, it wants to offer a bell that offers both safety and comfort of use. But is it succeeding?

  • Brand: Ring
  • Model: Video Doorbell 2
  • Category: Connected bell
  • Price: 219 euros
  • Availability: Immediate
  • Tested with: Huawei Honor 8

Unboxing Ring

Unboxing of the Ring Video Doorbell 2

With the unboxing of the Ring Video Doorbell 2, it’s hard to be surprised if you’re used to the brand’s products. Whether it is the sobriety of the box or the clever storage, we are on familiar ground. Inside, we recover the cables and screws, of course, but also a multifunctional screwdriver. This is the only one you will need to install your connected bell.

Ring also offers interesting alternatives for its product. In addition to the operating instructions, there is an additional shell to be placed on the device. This way, you can choose between a grey or black aspect to display in front of your front door.

Design and ergonomics of the Ring Video Doorbell 2

Concerning the Ring Video Doorbell, we can say that the simplicity of installation is there. Indeed, if several electrical connections are necessary, they remain anecdotal and rather easy. Attaching the device does not pose any more problems, especially thanks to the very clear instructions provided. However, it is advisable to obtain the application directly and follow it. Indeed, the assembly instructions are much more precise on this one than on paper. However, it should be noted that the object is not compatible with dwellings with a garden. Indeed, no door opening system is included. So, if you have to open a portal for example, you will have to move around.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

On the construction side, we’re already more concerned. And for good reason, the shell of the device under which the battery is located is made of plastic. We feel a real feeling of fragility in the face of it. While the doorbell is (logically) placed in the street, this cannot be said to be very reassuring. But not everything is black, since a fast charge battery is included in the Ring Video Doorbell. This one works without connections and avoids any wired link. A godsend for anyone who is really allergic to manual work involving electricity.

Features of Ring Video Doorbell 2

When faced with a connected bell, you don’t think you’ll find many features. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is still quite generous. First of all, there are some things you can expect, namely the alert on the smartphone as soon as someone rings the bell. You can then use the camera and see who is on the landing. If the quality is good, the lens sometimes has difficulty following the movements and offers us a light porridge of pixels instead of the face. Note that as soon as night falls, the camera automatically switches to night mode.

In addition, there is a motion detection system that will alert you as soon as someone stands in front of your door. In other words, it is not advisable to activate it if it faces directly onto a street. Depending on this function, it is also possible to contact the person in front of the camera. This is at least the case in theory, since in practice it is very difficult to understand anything. Indeed, even when speaking from a quiet place, cuts and crackles are to be deplored for both parties. Needless to say, the phenomenon worsens in a noisy place.

Application of Ring Video Doorbell 2

Like all Ring products, Video Doorbell 2 uses the application dedicated to the brand’s objects. Once again, we find a simple but above all very instinctive design. With it, your smartphone turns into a remote control allowing you to fully control the device. Of particular note is the possibility of reviewing the captured videos with each ring tone. Be careful though, as this is only available with a Ring Protect subscription. This reaches 30€/year (or 3€/month) for a camera and 100€/year (or 10€/month) for an unlimited number of cameras. A 30-day trial period is still available for purchase.

Connected by Wifi, no machine interruption is to be deplored during the test. As long as the box has no problem, the bell should not have any either. This link is also found with all the Ring products you own, since each can be connected to the others. If Ring Video Doorbell 2 works alone, it is much more effective with other objects, such as a lock. There is also compatibility with other systems, such as Alexa and IFTTT.

Conclusion

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is not perfect, but it has many arguments in its favour. If it is a pity that the vocal part is of very poor quality and that it is not adapted to houses with gardens, we remain in front of a good product. Its video and application are of very good quality, the latter being adapted for novices. If one remains cautious as to the solidity of the object, its construction still has the advantage of facilitating its installation. If you absolutely need a connected bell, Ring Video Doorbell 2 is far from being a bad choice.

Xiaomi Mi Box 4 et Mi Box 4c

Xiaomi today introduced two new TV Boxes in China, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4 and Xiaomi Mi Box 4c. These fourth-generation TV Boxes are the successors to the Xiaomi Mi Box 3 and Mi Box 3c launched in November 2016.

The Xiaomi Mi Box 4 has the same design as Xiaomi’s TV Boxes, in a square shape. The color for this version is uniformly white. It is 1.6 cm thick and weighs 145 grams. It has a 64-bit quad-core processor and a GPU, but we don’t have more details about the manufacturer of this processor yet.

Xiaomi Mi Box 4

Outside the processor, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4 has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, like the Mi Box 3, and has an AV port, an HDMI port and a USB port. The device supports 4K, HDR, Ultra HD content, as well as h.265 hardware decoding and Dolby + DTS audio. As for the OS, there is also little precision, except that it is likely that the MIUI home OS is at work.

As rumours have suggested, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4 is equipped with an artificial intelligence technology that constantly monitors the user’s habits to recommend different types of content. AI technology also takes into account film reviews and comments to make recommendations.

Like the previous version, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4 has an intelligent voice assistant that allows users to search by keywords, open applications, check the weather and calendar, etc.

In addition to the Xiaomi Mi Box 4, Xiaomi introduced a second TV Box, the Xiaomi Mi Box 4c, similar in terms of processor, but with only 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. To distinguish it, this Mi Box 4c is matt black.

The Xiaomi Mi Box 4 is sold in China for 349 Yuan, about 45 euros. The Mi Box 4c is sold for 249 Yuan, about 32 euros. These two new Xiaomi Box TVs are currently on pre-order until February 1, the date of their effective marketing in China. At the moment, we have no information on their availability in countries other than China.

Fibaro carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide detectors are, in general, unsightly and when the alarm sounds, there is little we can really do if we are not at home. But today we are discovering a more special detector.

It’s the Fibaro carbon monoxide detector! Design, small and above all Z-Wave compatible, let’s see what he has in his stomach!

Fibaro carbon monoxide detector />

Carbon monoxide

What is it? What is it?

Before you start, do you really know what carbon monoxide is?

For those who do not know, carbon monoxide is a gas that results from incomplete combustion, whether with wood, butane, coal, natural gas, etc.

It is colorless, odourless, and has a density close to that of air. It is therefore impossible for a human being to detect it and yet it is extremely dangerous.

It acts as an asphyxiant gas which, when inhaled, binds to hemoglobin.

  • 0.1% of carbon monoxide in the air kills in 1 hour
  • 1% of carbon monoxide in the air kills in 15 minutes
  • 10% of carbon monoxide in the air kills instantly.

Every year, about 5,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide. However, solutions can be put in place to reduce this risk. And the CO Fibaro detector is one of them!

Presentation

This CO detector from Fibaro is sold in a classic box that is faithful to Fibaro codes.

The Fibaro carbon monoxide detector is very small. It measures 65x28mm and its design is quite charming.

The material used is plastic with an aluminium contour for the grid.

It has a button on the top allowing all interactions

Features and functions

This carbon monoxide detector is compatible with the Z-Wave protocol. It can therefore be included in a network to trigger scenarios such as shutting off a gas valve or sending a notification to your smartphone.

To include it, go to inclusion mode on your box and then it will be enough to press three times quickly, several times, on the (only) button of the box. The detector can then take two states: alarm and no alarm.

And as you might expect, it will be possible to create scenarios with these two states! You will not be able to turn off the gas if you have a valve connected, or activate a VMC to evacuate the gas.

Notification

When the detector rings, it is possible to receive notifications on your smartphone. We know many methods to do this (IFTTT, VoIP, Mail, SMS…) but today we will see how to do it with an application dedicated to notifications.

The latter can be used for any other scenario later on. First, go to the pushingbox site, click on “Login With Google” in the top right corner

Then log in with the Google account that is on your smartphone!

Conclusion

This carbon monoxide detector does its job very well. It is small, pretty and its design allows it to be integrated into any home.

Very easy to install and use, all you have to do is put the battery in to make it work.

Z-Wave compatibility is a real plus that allows you to create scenarios according to the situation. Of course, you can do much more than just receive a notification on a smartphone!

Aqara Smart IP Camera 1080P HD

In this review I will tell you about an interesting gadget for the Xiaomi smart home – combining the capabilities of an IP camera and a ZigBee gateway – Aqara Smart IP Camera 1080P HD.

aqara-camera

Specifications:

  • Wireless interfaces: ZigBee, IEEE 802.11 b / g / n 2.4GHz
  • 180 degree viewing angle
  • Resolution and frame rate – 1080p, 12 fps
  • Operating temperature: -10 / 40 C
  • Power supply: micro USB 5V 1A
  • Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 7.7cm

Contents of delivery

The device is delivered in a white cardboard box with printing made in grayscale. Specifications, traditionally on the back of the box.

Let’s start the discovery. Inside – everything is tightly packed using cardboard templates, nothing dangles the box.

In the delivery set, besides the “gateway” itself, there is also a power supply unit with a flat plug, a USB-micro USB cable, a metal base with a clip and a clip for resetting.

Inspection

A fairly powerful magnet is built into the base of the camera, and if a complete metal base is attached to the wall, the camera can be securely fastened and quickly removed if necessary. For mounting on non-magnetic smooth bases, the diameter of the base, pasted a strip of double-sided tape

At the bottom of the camera is a micro USB connector for power, a reset button and a slot for a micro SD card.

On the back side there is a speaker for which a perforation is made in the case.

The complete power supply unit is designed for an output voltage of 5 V, current up to 1 A, input – 100-240 V, up to 0.2 A

Work with the application

Connecting to MiHome is completely standard – After turning on the camera, it is detected by the application, after which the settings are synchronized and the latest firmware version of the device is downloaded.

At first glance, the new gadget is not particularly different from the usual IP cameras included in the Xiaomi system. Plug-in with the usual standard camera options – image quality, sleep mode, taking screenshots, voice communications, video recording. Unusual here is the option to activate the alarm. The settings menu is also standard – rename, login password, device sharing, location, checking for updates, deleting a device, adding a shortcut to the desktop, network information.

The camera has the usual settings, such as recording video only by movement, flipping the image, displaying time on the video, screen correction — it programmatically removes the barrel of the video, the SD card settings, the sleep timer. From the unusual settings – sound adjustment and alarm settings

After inserting a memory card, a timeline appears below the video window, allowing you to track the intervals when the recording was made, as well as view it. The button on the left of the timeline allows you to select the day for which you want to view the record. The button on the left above the timeline gives access to the menu of manually recorded photos and videos, as well as alarm videos.

The usual menu, like all gateways, with a list of sub-devices in the plugin of this camera is not. Adding new zigbee devices is carried out through the main menu – add a device – add manually, then you need to select a connected device from the list, and in the next menu – select a gateway, among which there will be this camera and further on, add a sensor to the system in a standard way.

From the usual function of the gateways, this camera has only the alarm function, its usual setting is the alarm activity time, the sensor that will trigger the alarm – it can only be a sensor connected to this gateway, the alarm interval, alarm sounds are also standard, it is possible to work in tandem when an alarm is triggered by any other system gateway.

Just in case, let me remind if someone does not know – recently, in square Aqara gateways, the opportunity has appeared to enable the developer mode, which allows working with gateways to alternative management systems. With a five-fold click on the version of the gateway in the about menu, additional options also appear here, one of which is the developer mode. But when you directly click on this option, a message is displayed that this device does not support this feature, and if you click on the gateway information, where all the information will be on both the gateway and devices connected to it, then click on the left button below – You can get to the developer mode menu. However, the switch of its activity will still not be available for activation.

In scenarios, this camera can only work as an action. The conditions for detecting motion in the frame are the same as those of other cameras; Action at the camera – six. The first is the third action, they are responsible for managing the alarm, the fourth action records an alarming video for about 10 seconds to the cloud, and the fifth and sixth options enable and disable the sleep mode.

In the SD card settings menu, you can see not only the used and remaining space, but also the time of the recorded clips and the approximate time for which the memory card is still enough, which is very convenient. When recording – the camera creates videos of about a minute and a resolution of 1920 by 1080 with a frequency of 12 frames per second, with mono sound. The size of the rollers from 4.5 to 6 MB each.

Video recording

Of the benefits – it should be noted that in the watermark on the video, the local time is indicated, and not Chinese – this is convenient. The camera has a very wide shooting angle – 180 degrees. And if the plug-in effect of a fish-eye is corrected programmatically, then actually raw videos are written just with this effect and viewing them outside the plug-in is not very convenient. The very quality of the video is very mediocre, especially when shooting at night with infrared illumination – everything that is on the sides of the frame is quite blurred.

Shooting examples – can be viewed in the video review, which will be at the end of the text.

As for power consumption, it consumes 0.25 A, and can work for quite a long time from the powerbank.

Conclusion

Summing up, we can say that this is, in principle, a good alternative to conventional gateways – you get a camera and a gateway in one bottle. Although the quality of shooting is quite specific – but it is quite enough for home video surveillance and due to its wide viewing angle it can quite compete even with PTZ cameras.

By the way, this is the only gateway without a rigidly built-in triple Chinese plug – the camera is powered via the micro USB connector.

The advantages should also include a convenient magnetic base and the supplied metal base.

Home security: How to secure your smart home

Of course, there is no such thing as zero risk, but home automation must make it possible to achieve a more secure home. From simple locks, to video surveillance cameras and motion or smoke detection, many tools exist.

home

A recent study shows that more than 17% of French people do not feel safe at home. This impressive figure obviously takes part of its source in the constant increase in the number of burglaries in France: more than 240,000 over the whole of 2016.

The solutions we are going to present to you will not protect you from burglary attempts, we will not hide behind barbed wire and watchtowers. On the other hand, they could deter opportunities or provide you with some tools to facilitate their identification and, perhaps, speed up police investigations. However, things are not limited to that.

A recent study shows that more than 17% of French people do not feel safe at home. This impressive figure obviously takes part of its source in the constant increase in the number of burglaries in France: more than 240,000 over the whole of 2016.

The solutions we are going to present to you will not protect you from burglary attempts, we will not hide behind barbed wire and watchtowers. On the other hand, they could deter opportunities or provide you with some tools to facilitate their identification and, perhaps, speed up police investigations. However, things are not limited to that.

The possibilities are already very numerous and our little guide is obviously not intended to list them all. Our objective is rather to give you an overview of the options available to you through a selection of products that we have found interesting, which we advise you to at least look at. Of course, it is then up to you to dig deeper into the question.

The best solutions to secure your home

  1. Netatmo Presence (220€)
  2. Nest Protect 2nd generation (120€)
  3. Sen.se Mother (200€)
  4. Sen.se GuardPeanut (30€)
  5. Logi Circle 2 (150€)
  6. Bosch Camera 360 (250€)
  7. Archos Smart Home (125€)
  8. Hydrao First smart shower head (90€)

Given the radically different objectives of the “security” products we have chosen, we cannot tell you which one is best suited to your needs. However, we are still able to tell you which one we found most interesting. At this little game, it seems to us that the outdoor camera is the product that stands out from the crowd. With the Presence, Netatmo effectively offers a product that is both rich in multiple features and powerful. Of course, it will not protect against all intrusions and will not prevent malicious people from breaking into your home, but it will keep track of it with an image quality that could significantly facilitate the identification of opportunities.