Over the last six months our focus has been on delivering a flurry of updates to our smart home platform and working on our whole home Wi-Fi solution. This has been so much of a focus that we realized we were pushing these updates out without spending time to explain how they could be used to make your smart home more intuitive. In a previous post, we covered how we’ve closed the loop on hands-free control with our Amazon Alexa integration, delivering for the first time a way to control multiple devices and actions with single voice commands. In this article we want to discuss how we have improved the ability to personalize your smart home for different family members, and how to make automations richer by allowing an action to happen based on several triggers, not just one.
Rules Engine with Multiple Triggers on Almond App
Almond Rules Engine is available within our app. Our Rules Engine for home automation is a result of several key requirements we felt were not being addressed by present solutions on the market and by our unique ability to combine a router and a smart hub. First, we wanted a solution that could deliver everything in one app including our router functionality. Second, we wanted our automations to work locally as well as through the cloud. Finally, we wanted to allow an event to be more customizable through multiple actions, multiple triggers and delays between actions.
In the latter case, customization, we knew that to be a viable alternative to a home security system we needed to give our customers Home and Away modes, among other things. Home and Away modes are an essential part of a security system as they control when to respond to motion detectors and set the siren off. Basically, you need two triggers: away combined with motion detected are both prerequisites to triggering the alarm. Similarly, if you forget to lock your door you may want to set your system to automatically lock it after 9am, Monday to Friday. In this case you need 2 conditions to lock the door: after 9 AM, and door unlocked. These kinds of more sophisticated automation options can also help save energy: perhaps you want a way to make sure the lights or heat is turned off, but you have different schedules for each day. In this case, you can set the following rule: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, if the door is locked, then turn off all the lights. Being able to add several conditions for something to happen ultimately leads to a more flexible and responsive smart and secure home.
Wi-Fi Triggers to Improve Smart Home Personalization
Released back in December of last year, our Wi-Fi Triggers is our solution to the issue of different users of the same smart home having different preferences for lights or temperature or other functions. With Wi-Fi Triggers Almond is able to identify each phone on the wireless network and use that as a trigger to create a rule. For example, when your phone joins the network, the thermostat will turn on, and the lights will be set to the level you want; when a different family member comes home their own smart home experience will kick in.
Wi-Fi triggers are a neat way to personalize, and save the trouble of getting your phone out of your pocket, But they really come into your own when combined with our multiple triggers as mentioned above. Have you ever argued with a family member over lighting or temperature? There’s no need to anymore since you can now make a compromise: your rule sets the temperature on your Nest thermostat to 65 degrees, another rule sets it to 75 for your wife; then a third rule says that if both of your phones are both on the network to set the temperature to 70.
We look forward to reading your questions about how best to your smart home using Almond, and your ideas on how we can make Almond even easier to use.
Almond Smart Routers
The award-winning Almond series of smart routers are WiFi routers with built-in smart hubs. With Almond routers, you can blanket your home with seamless WiFi and – with our easy-to-use app – view, block and schedule access for all the devices using your WiFi network.