Our smart home starter pack story last April got a lot of you interested in home automation. After all, who wouldn’t be curious about the home of the future? Alas, beyond the basics, it’s hard to find more advanced smart home automation devices in stores around the country. Even more difficult to find all of them under one convenient roof. Good thing Power Mac Center (PMC) recently launched a diverse array of smart home products. The event trained the spotlight on light bulbs and smart speakers, CCTV cameras and even AI-powered home air conditioner controllers.
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Leading smart home tech brands Eufy, Linksys, Belkin, Ambi Climate, and Sonos presented their products to the media, and we got the chance to check out the offerings, and get hands-on experience with some of them in PMC’s Playroom showroom.
Among the most interesting item launched was the Ambi Climate controller. Designed for any air conditioner with an LCD remote, the Ambi Climate controller uses onboard sensors, online weather data, and AI to control your air conditioner for maximum comfort and energy savings. This will be especially useful during the humid rainy season, when many air conditioners don’t understand that “humid” warm is very different from “dry” warm.
Famed smart speaker company SONOS also unveiled their classic Play:1 speaker, as well as their One, and Play 5 speakers, and their Beam Ultimate wireless soundbar.
SONOS speakers have long been known for the surprising depth and quality of the sound they put out from such tiny packages, and the quality and volume of a single SONOS speaker at work in the middle of the press briefing was really quite impressive.
Anker’s Eufy smart home brand was also present in the launch, introducing their RoboVac 35C, which features amazingly quiet operation for a robot vacuum, self-charging behavior, and remote management. The little thing picked up a surprising amount of dust during the demo. It’s certainly exciting to have another robot vacuum brand on the market.
Eufy also revealed their Smart Bulb, which can be adjusted for lighting schedule, color temperature and brightness, as well as their Smart Plugs which can be powered on and off at will, or on schedule. All of these devices can be controlled via the Eufy app, or even by Alexa or Google Home.
The most intriguing item at the presser, however, is the EufyCam, which comes with a base station and two high-resolution wireless CCTV cameras, each of which has an incredibly impressive battery life of one year. Other wireless CCTV solutions need to be recharged every couple of months. Depending on its real-world performance, I might just make a recommendation out of this one.
Belkin was also present to show off their range of wireless charging pads. Wireless charging is becoming an ever-more prevalent feature and takes away from the hassle of unsightly wires. But high-quality wireless charging pads can be hard to find amidst the sea of low-quality products. Belkin solves that trouble with fast charging pads that support up to 10W Qi charging and can work through most cases.
On the software side, Control4 presented their smart home automation app and products, demonstrating automatically deploying and retracting shades, thermostat and lighting control, and even electronic door locking mechanisms. The app adapts to user preferences, and is compatible with both iOS and Android.
Control4 represents some of the more “mundane” elements of home automation, but it’s surprising how its little conveniences can add up to making life easier.
All of these smart home devices would be useless without a stable home network, though, and putting it all together (literally) is a job you may want to entrust Linksys’ Velop system, a whole home mesh Wi-Fi system that aims to fill the gaps that regular Wi-Fi routers can’t. Each Velop acts as a node that can cover thousands of square feet with the highest possible connection quality and maximum speed. The system is somewhat more expensive than the cost of the average router plus a couple of range extenders, but it promises to be more effective.
While these items were launched in the PMC Greenbelt branch, they will be available in other PMC outlets in the coming months.