With the seemingly rapid rise and expansion of Aqara and its portfolio of products, it may not come as a surprise to some that one option the company deployed this early in 2020 was Third-Party integrations. These integrations are currently confined to Sonos speakers at present, at least for all territories except Mainland China, although the company are reportedly actively working on adding further integrations.
The integration with Sonos speakers, which also includes the Sonos/Ikea Symphonisk speaker collaboration, allows a variety of functions to be both controlled with other Aqara devices (nearly all of which are HomeKit compatible of course), as well as include these functions in automations within the Aqara app. So, for example, you could control the play/pause function of your Sonos with an Aqara Cube or Smart Button, the latter of which is HomeKit compatible, which with it brings further possibilities for HomeKit scenes.
Aqara has now added two product lines to this area – TVs from Hisense, and robot vacuums from Ecovacs – along with Sonos, via the Mainland China server. This opens the door to a lot more automation options, especially in the case of vacuums, given that at present this class of device is not even supported by HomeKit (although we’ve heard a credible rumour about Dyson and Apple working to change this…).
Despite the fact that these integrations are only currently available via the Aqara app set to the China server, Hisense TVs and Ecovacs vacuums are widely available in the US on Amazon, and with reasonable prices too. HomeKit users may ultimately opt for TVs with HomeKit built-in, however, but even these TVs have limits in terms of what can be done in HomeKit, so if the integration options offered via the Aqara app are fairly extensive, then it could be an alternate route to controlling your TV.
Hopefully further integrations will follow, not just with further categories, but multiple vendors.