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.
Julie Jacobson · January 16, 2013
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.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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