Not long after Monday’s big announcement from Aqara, where they officially unveiled their new HomeKit hub – the M2 – alongside a slew of updated switches and sensors with ZigBee 3.o compatibility, our inside source has discovered two more new, as of yet unannounced ZigBee 3.0 compatible sensors; the Aqara Smoke Detector and the Aqara VOC Sensor.
Mijia, one of the other companies under the Xiaomi umbrella, have already released HomeKit compatible smoke and gas detector/alarms, that are cooperative efforts with the well-known security company, Honeywell, but this is a brand new device, and of course, branded Aqara. Aside from the image, we don’t have a lot of info at this stage. The other device, a VOC sensor, has a little bit of text, but unfortunately no image at present. According to the text (originally in Chinese) associated with the device…
The VOC sensor is a low-power product used to detect the VOC concentration in the room. It is a Zigbee 3.0 sub-device to keep the indoor air quality in a good state by paralleling new air blowers and window pushers.
This device, if you haven’t deciphered the broken English translation, will detect VOC levels in the room and can work with other devices, like air purifiers, to engage and clean the air, when higher than normal VOC levels are detected. We’re not sure what a ‘window pusher’ is, but we’d like to see one of those too…
If you’re unaware of what VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are, in a most basic sense, they are gases or compounds, that are given off by household objects, especially newer products, so cleaning chemicals used in the material from a new sofa, or fresh paint on your walls, and especially some electronics, like photocopiers etc. Not all VOCs are dangerous, but many of these VOCs can, in high concentrations, create what is sometimes called ‘sick building syndrome’ which can make you feel ill, with itchy eyes or just generally more lethargic.
There are already some HomeKit compatible VOC sensing devices on the market, like the Eve Room (2nd gen), which measures VOCs in addition to humidity and temperature, and the Kaiterra Laser Egg 2+, which also measures PM2.5 levels.
There’s no firm evidence that this device will definitely be HomeKit compatible, although our source, has found references to HomeKit in the configuration files with both of these products. As we find out more, we will of course update this article.
thanks to Sebastian B for the tip-off.