Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Aqara tightens home security with door, presence tech

Making the smart home actually “smart” and web connected is something that requires actual gadgets, and with the latest batch from Aqara, it’s all about securing doors.

If you’ve ever wondered how the technology could improve your front door, you only need to look at the sort of gadgets on the way from smart home peripheral makers.

Between cameras made for the front of home and cameras inside doorbells, the general vibe you might have expected is a visual approach to securing the main entry point to your home. But it doesn’t have to be the only way to keep the entrance locked up and secure.

Aqara is showing what else you can do with some recent additions to its smart home line-up, as it adds to the assortment of smart home products with some gadgets that are clearly about what goes on in the front of house, and maybe for windows and doors elsewhere.

The new additions are four strong, and cover a doorbell, a lock, and two types of sensor designed to connect to the assortment of smart home platforms found on the market already.

That starts with the first of these, the Aqara G4 Doorbell, a doorbell system that employs some AI-based facial recognition to work out who is at the door, sending your phone notifications when they’ve arrived and to talk to Aqara’s other gadgets.

It’ll work with smart systems from Google, Amazon, and even Apple’s HomeKit, with Aqara noting that it’s the first battery-powered doorbell to play with Apple HomeKit, something Ring’s equivalents haven’t yet provided.

From the sound of things, it should also play nicely with Aqara’s Smart Lock U100, a door lock replacement that supports a fingerprint reader with as many as 50 fingerprints, while unlocking is also covered using a keypad or even an Apple gadget. Simply put, if you have an Apple Watch or the Home app on an iPhone, tapping either to a registered smart lock will open the door.

Door locks aren’t known for being wired, and the Aqara U100 is no different in this way, supporting a battery with as much as eight months of life, using AA batteries that can be easily replaced and offering IP65 water and dust resistance.

Aqara’s other two smart home gadgets are a little different, but still built with the front of house in mind.

The $59 P2 Door and Window Sensor is a simple sensor designed to let you know when a door or window is open, which can play with home automation platforms by triggering functions when either state has occurred. For instance, if the front door has opened at a time you didn’t expect it to, you can get an alert or even trigger another gadget, such as a connected thermostat.

Meanwhile, the $197.99 Aqara FP2 Presence Sensor is different again, costing roughly four times as much and using mmWave radar technology to pick up on people in different positions.

It means you can set up the FP2 in places around the home to pick up on the presence of more than one person and up to five, with one sensor able to cover several zones over a 40 square metre space. The sensor also covers light detection, able to fire home automation routines based on things happening when the lights are off, as well.

“We’ve extended our range here locally in Australia to help Aussies unlock the full potential of building a smarter and safer home that suits their needs,” said Mark Berahmand, Business Development Manager for Aqara in Australia.

“Our latest products offer an unparalleled level of versatility, catering to a wide range of applications and different types of homes,” he said. “Whether you’re a tech-savvy enthusiast, a busy professional looking to streamline your daily routines or a creative seeking innovative ways to enhance your living space, our solutions are designed to seamlessly integrate and adapt to your lifestyle.”

Availability for the Aqara range sees its gear arriving in Officeworks stores and other select stockists across the country, with the G4 Doorbell priced at $239.99, the U100 Smart Lock for $499.99, the P2 Door and Windows Sensor for $59, and the Presence Sensor FP2 for $197.99

It’s worth noting that some of the Aqara functions may need one of the company’s hubs, which starts from $49.99, but can also be found in the combined camera and Zigbee G3 Hub, which we reviewed last year and is priced at $194.99 locally.

Read next