HomeKit has seen a small boost in smart roller blind options over the last year or so, from the likes of Ikea, with its Fyrtur offering, and more recently with Aqara’s own retrofit option, the Roller Shade Driver E1. Now, a company called Smartwings are offering a HomeKit option for their blinds, which offers both the motor and the material (six different options available at present) for blinds all sized from the measurements the customer provides. Many of the materials offer UV protection as well as different percentages of blackout ability.
Smartwings currently offer three options for their blinds – a smart blind that only works with the company’s own remotes, one of which can control up to 15 blinds at once or individually, as well as a Zigbee version designed to work with Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings. The final option offers official HomeKit integration via Bluetooth. The mention of Bluetooth these days, especially with the advent of Thread may put many consumers off, understandably. However, we’ve been informed that the Bluetooth chip used with the HomeKit option may actually use the Nordic nRF52840 Bluetooth chip, which is capable of being updated to support Thread, although we’ve yet to confirm this with a second source. The question then becomes, will the company update the chips to use Thread (if they are Thread-ready) or add Thread-ready chip to their products next year, which we’re told is a guarded ‘yes’. We obviously don’t tend to advise people to buy something on a non-binding statement that has yet come to pass, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
The Smartwings blinds have a built-in motor and 2200mAh battery within the tube, with the company claiming 4-6 months of usage between recharging. The battery is recharged via a micro-USB port on one end of the roller tube.
Smartwings currently offer free shipping with the US for all their options. You can find more details via the company’s website.
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