Oh, Alexa, you can do so much but you certainly have your limitations. The same goes for Google Assistant and Siri.
Because now a company has developed a new smart device for your home that offers a feature you can’t get from your favorite smart speaker. It’s a device that doesn’t just know someone is in the room, it knows who is in the room.
On one hand, it adds a new level of personalized convenience but on the other, it can come off as a little creepy. We’ll tell you about the new device, including what it does well and an area where it’s lacking.
We’re talking about the new RoomMe smart device, which can automate areas of your home based on you. Yes, you specifically. The device was developed by Intellithings and was initially financed through an Indiegogo campaign. Now RoomMe is starting to ship worldwide, and there’s a reason it’s different from other tech.
Let’s say you walk into your living room. Before you even sit down, music starts playing, lights adjust and you can hear the air conditioner kick on. And you didn’t have to lift a finger.
That’s because the RoomMe device that’s attached to the ceiling above the doorway knew it was you specifically entering the room, and it adjusted conditions based on your preset preferences.
So while there’s a lot of smart tech out there that knows when people are home, it doesn’t necessarily know who is home. RoomMe knows because it’s linked to specific smartphones via Bluetooth. That means if it detects your phone entering the room, it’ll update conditions based on your preferences. If it’s another family member who also has personalized controls set up, those settings will be adjusted based on their presets.
But what happens if you and another family member are in the same room? It’s based on priority. When setting up the RoomMe, you can assign roles. Room Master is the highest level, and that person is basically the system admin and can override all others. Then there’s roles for Parent and Child. So your kid might be in the living room watching TV, but as soon as you walk in, your preferences take priority.
And using a Bluetooth low-energy signature broadcast by the RoomMe app, the device pairs with products from a number of other companies so you can personalize any room in your home to not just turn on lights and play music, but to also set the lighting how you want it and play the music you prefer.
Check out the company’s FAQ to find out which brands are compatible. You can do that by tapping or clicking here.
How to get your own RoomMe
You can buy a RoomMe sensor for every room or just a few, but at least two sensors are required. The sensors, which look like smoke detectors, are placed at the entrances of rooms.
If you’re looking to buy the RoomMe, the Starter Kit is $129 and it comes with two sensors. You can add individual sensors for an extra $69 each, or you can get a three-pack for $189. There’s also a four-pack that costs $239. Click or tap here to get started.
Finally, unlike voice assistants (looking at you Alexa) RoomMe has no microphones or cameras. No more worrying about someone snooping and spying on you – but keep in mind, it’s a device tied to your smartphone so you are still identifiable.
This all sounds great if you don’t mind being constantly tethered to your smartphone. When you move to another room, the sensor will notify the RoomMe app about where the phone is and adjust accordingly. No information goes over the Internet.
If there’s a flaw for the RoomMe, it’s that you have to keep your phone with you if you want it to work. That’s the price of personalization.
Below is an informational video from Intellithings:
Alexa still in the lead
Many people use voice commands to give Alexa specific tasks. But you can create a set of routines that can fully automate your home. Also, pick a phrase for each routine for Alexa can go to work. Here are some suggestions:
Say “Time for bed” and Alexa will start performing night time rituals such as turning off TVs and lights, locking doors, turning off music — whatever you want.
Wake up routine
With a “Good morning,” Alexa will turn on lights, read the news, start your coffeemaker, or get traffic updates for your commute.
After work/when you get home
“I’m home” will have Alexa adjusting the thermostat for you, playing your favorite music and turning on lights.
And don’t forget that you can create a home-wide sound system so you can hear music in every room or use it as an intercom system.
As for RoomMe, the company makes it clear that it’s not trying to replace Alexa or other voice assistants. In fact, the company says Alexa and her ilk are needed to make adjustments to a room, such as turning off music in favor of the TV or adjusting the thermostat if the room isn’t as cold as usual.
So for now, RoomMe wants Alexa to know that he’s on her team.
For more tips on getting the most of your Alexa smart speaker with the eBook “How to Use Your Amazon Echo: Tips and Tricks.” You’ll learn everything you need to know to become a pro. We’ll go over everything from set-up to how it can endlessly entertain you in your living room, kitchen or bedroom. You will also learn the necessary tools to have your Amazon Echo help you in an emergency.