Control & Automation

Securifi Almond+ is Best $99 Home Automation System

CES 2013: Tiny Almond+ home automation hub from Securifi packs Gigabit Ethernet router (4 ports), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, macros, apps and cuteness.


Almond+ home automation hub and router from Securifi.

Photos & Slideshow

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DIY home automation systems were everywhere at CES 2013 but none was more compelling than the new Almond+ from Securifi.

Securifi started life with the Almond wireless 802.11n router, featuring a small built-in touchscreen for diagnostics and feedback – a handy little product, given the difficulty that most consumers have configuring and troubleshooting routers via the PC.

Now, take that product, tack on some home automation radios and applications, and you have the Almond+ system, which debuted at Eureka Park at CES.

This tiny router/smart-home hub packs:

  • Gigabit Ethernet (4 ports)
  • wireless dual-band 802.11ac/802.11n router (up to 1.17 Gbps wireless speed)
  • Z-Wave home automation
  • ZigBee: Home Automation Profile, Smart Energy Profile and the new Light Link for colored LEDs
  • USB port for wireless printing, storage or an external 3G/4G modem
  • home automation apps and features aplenty

All that for an introductory price of $99 via Kickstarter (coming soon; sign up at securifi.com to be notified).

For that price, you might expect only modest home control features, but the software is surprisingly robust. You can, for example, program scenes that trigger multiple devices even across different protocols. The “home” mode might ramp up the Z-Wave thermostats and light up the ZigBee lights. These you can program through the Almond’s itty bitty touchscreen or via PC or mobile devices.

Speaking of mobile devices, yes, there’s an app for Securifi so users can monitor and control their home from any browser or mobile device.

In addition to its smart-home features, Almond+ is a full-blown gigabit wireless/hardwired router with four ports.

I don’t necessarily see this as the hub of a whole-house system, although it could be. I see it as a really awesome alarm clock.

Take one of these, screw in one of the myriad new smart light bulbs (that story coming soon), and have the light ramp up at the designated time. Pity the thing doesn’t have a built-in speaker, but you can always trigger a Z-Wave sounder or hook up to a third-party music system via IR.

Card Access offers a ZigBee-to-IR module and Remotec has a Z-Wave-to-IR module. Possibly an IP-enabling iTach Flex device from Global Cache could do the trick.

MORE CES 2013 COVERAGE HERE
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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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