It wouldn’t be a normal week without at least one Aqara news item, and today Aqara unveiled a new series of switches and other panels under the V1 monicker.
The V1 Series initially covers standard wall switches, although, in truth, they’re anything but ‘standard’. Other forthcoming modules will include a rotary dial in various designs, with a touchscreen display in the centre, and a wall socket with a USB-C port and a built in Zigbee 3.0 hub.
The switches come in a variety of colours and finishes, all with a thin central display. The LED display can show off different features, and allow for a selection of functions, depending on what Aqara products you might have in the home.
Perhaps surprisingly, these switch panels actually control three separate powered switches, with three of the four quarters representing a switch. Each switch has the ability to be used as a standard on/off controller, as a momentary switch, or converted to a smart switch, with each switch being able to be programmed to control things other than lights. If we understood the translation correctly, once converted to smart switches, they’ll also be exposed to Apple Home as such, allowing them to control not only Aqara devices but other HomeKit-compatible devices too.
What may be the most interesting feature of these switches is that they also include mmWave Presence detection. This would allow things like the display to turn on when someone approaches, or turn off when someone walks away. It may also be possible to program certain functions for other devices, based on presence.
Of course, it’s almost a given that these switches are destined solely for the Chinese market, so don’t get your hopes up that these will make it to international shores, but it goes to show that Aqara is not sitting still when it comes to innovation generally, or Matter in particular. you can check out the promo video below for a quick impression of what they might look like.