Aqara has been a great option for people starting out with HomeKit, as their starter kits provide an inexpensive way to add a number of HomeKit-compatible products at once. Once you've added a hub, you can start adding water sensors, motion sensors, etc. Today, Aqara is unveiling a brand new TVOC Air Quality Monitor with an e-ink design.
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Measuring air quality has somehow become a hobby of mine, as I enjoy seeing how tasks like cooking, leaving windows open, or using a vacuum cleaner affect the sensors. Aqara's new air quality monitor requires the Aqara M1S hub, so if you have an older M1 model, you'll need to upgrade. I use the M1S hub in addition to the original hub because I didn't feel like the hassle of transferring my existing accessories. It also works with the M2 hub or the Aqara camera.
Aqara TVOC air quality monitor and HomeKit
Since Aqara supports HomeKit, the hub will unboard itself into your HomeKit environment during the installation process. Aqara includes the HomeKit code on both the instructions and the bottom of the hub. Setting up the Aqara TVOC Air Quality Monitor is just as simple. You use the Aqara app to add the device, choose your M1S hub, and then press and hold the top button for eight seconds to put the device into pairing mode. Once it's paired with the hub, it will appear in the same room in the Home app assigned to the hub. If you don't plan to place the products in the same room, you can change the location of the sensor just like any other accessory.
As you can see from the picture above, the sensor is quite small, but large enough to be easily read. It defaults to Celsius, but you can convert it to Fahrenheit in the Aqara app by going to the device's settings. The Aqara TVOC Air Quality Monitor has three built-in sensors that measure the level of TVOC, temperature, and humidity. Because it supports HomeKit, you can use this data to create scenes to combat poor air quality by turning on air purifiers or giving you an alert in the Home app.
One of the benefits of investing in the Aqara ecosystem is that you can enjoy the reliability of Zigbee 3.0, but still use HomeKit. Aqara products have been some of the most reliable HomeKit products I've had. If you haven't bought a water sensor yet, I recommend buying one for under all your sinks and for your fridge and dishwasher. I've used the air quality monitor for a few days, and if you already have a few Aqara products, it's a no-brainer to add to your HomeKit environment to track the quality of the air you breathe in your home. As I've mentioned in other reviews, e-ink displays with HomeKit products are a fantastic trend because they look great while having a long-lasting battery.
Aqara is offering a 15% off coupon (TVOCPR2224) on the US Amazon store valid until July 24 if you want to pick up the new e-ink Aqara TVOC Air Quality Monitor at a discount. The monitor supports HomeKit, as well as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT.
Apple Stores in Europe begin selling Aqara products
Aqara has announced that Apple Stores in Europe have also started selling selected products. The product offering in the Apple Store includes the Aqara Hub M2, the Aqara Camera Hub G2H, the door and window sensor, the temperature and humidity sensor and the vibration sensor.
"Being able to offer Aqara products in Apple Stores in Europe is an essential step for us to connect with a rapidly growing community of HomeKit users worldwide, and we look forward to further expanding our product range in more Apple Stores in Europe and other regions in the near future," said Cathy You, Senior Vice President of Aqara.
Aqara's products are now available in Apple Stores in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Aqara also announced that it plans to place its products in South Korean Apple Stores in the coming months.
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