The popular, but often hard to find Aqara Curtain Controller, has been around for a while now, and as with anything in the world of tech, it isn’t long before it was due for either an upgrade or be superseded. The Aqara B1 Curtain Controller, which we reviewed back in March, is the very device designed to replace the current model, and whilst we’ve been able to get our hands on this product, it hasn’t been available, and there’s been no word on when it would surface.
The release of the B1 has all taken a step forward today, with Aqara teasing us of the possible imminent release via Twitter, with a simple pic of the B1, stating “Some of you might complain about the wired Aqara curtain motor. And now we have upgraded it”. So, not exactly a firm commitment to a release date, although our insiders tell us that it should be released sometime in June of this year, assuming everything goes to plan.
The reference to the curtain controller being ‘upgraded’ is due to the B1 now having a battery pack that connects to the motor, thereby eliminating the need to have the motor constantly connected to mains electricity, which has been a bone of contention for some, given that many places simply don’t have power points that high up and near a window so this will be a lot more convenient.
The device can still be constantly connected to mains electricity, either through the battery plugged into the main motor, or even directly connected to the motor itself, which means, even if you remove the battery for charging, the motor can still be used.
As for connectivity with HomeKit, whilst we were testing this device initially, even though the B1 uses Zigbee, there was no option to connect to the Aqara Hub, only the older Mi Hub. Since then, the firmware has been updated to allow for connection to the Aqara hub, which is also borne out via the installation procedures found in the Mi Home and Aqara apps. Given that the current curtain controller is HomeKit compatible, it’s not a stretch to assume the B1 will be any different.
More news as we get it.