It wouldn’t be a normal week without at least one Aqara article (!), and as such, we can reveal not one, but two products whose listings have made their way to a European store – they’re not available as such yet, but the existence of them is enough for us right now.
The first of the two devices is brand new in terms of a product category for Aqara, namely the Aqara Curtain Driver E1, this is different to the curtain motors they already sell, that sit to one side of your curtains and pull them using a pully system within the rail. The E1, which goes along with their recently released Roller Shade Driver E1, works by attaching to the edge of your curtains and the rail, effectively pulling the curtains one way or another.
We’ve already seen this type of product from companies like SwitchBot for example, although their products lack HomeKit compatibility. Of course, Aqara’s model uses Zigbee 3.0 and so relies on one of their hubs to get exposed to HomeKit, but given the wide variety of hubs now available, in all price ranges, many will have at least one of these hubs now.
The motor has a built-in battery that can be charged up via a USB-C port on the base, which can last up to a year between charges, and also includes a light sensor, designed to close your curtain depending on whether there’s too much or not enough light. There are actually two models, with the ‘Rod’ version working with curtains that use Rods, U-rails, I-Rails, whilst the ‘Standard’ version will only work with the latter two options.
The second of our two devices, the Aqara Motion Sensor P1, is less of a surprise, as we first saw it announced last summer at Aqara’s annual product unveiling, alongside the Aqara TVOC sensor, the P1 Door Sensor, and a whole raft of other devices, some of which have yet to come out. The P1 looks in many ways like the original sensor, but with a larger ‘chin’. This is due to the sensor using not one, but two CR2450 batteries, to give the P1 its five-year battery life expectancy.
The new model, like the High Precision Motion Sensor that came out last year, has an adjustable blind time, and also has a built-in light sensor, although this is only exposed to the Aqara app, not HomeKit, but can be used in Aqara automations.
Both of these products are not actually for sale at this time, at least not on the Slovakian store they’ve surfaced, but given this store only sells products that are designated for the European market, it’s a good sign that these are not too far off.
Thanks to Stian for the tipoff!