Like a lot of smart home gadgets, smart curtains are undeniably convenient, especially when they come with an accompanying app that gives you a lot of customized control. For starters, waking up naturally as your curtains gradually draw back at a set time is a nice alternative to an alarm clock. It also makes it a lot easier to open and close curtains in hard-to-reach places. But doesn’t it all kind of sound like more trouble than it’s worth?
Those looking for something in between regular old curtains and a custom-installed smart curtain system will find a few interesting options, including the SwitchBot. This add-on device can transform any curtains into smart curtains so you can stick with your favorite brands and fabrics. It’s also surprisingly small and doesn’t require special rods or rails to work.
The wireless SwitchBot installs in thirty seconds without any screws, nuts, or bolts. You just hang it over the curtain rod, set your preferences within the accompanying app, and let it do all the work. You don’t even have to pull out your phone to control it, as the system works seamlessly with Alexa, Google Home, and Siri.
The makers of the SwitchBot claim that “even the most eco-friendly air-conditioning consumes energy to cool your room. We can reduce energy consumption by minimizing temperature fluctuations in your room. Close the curtains to block out sunlight to keep your room cool. The SwitchBot Curtain has a built-in sunlight sensor to detect sunlight. This can help save energy by reducing the workload on your air-conditioning and heating. It can be set to automatically close during the day time in summer to block out the sunlight and keep your room cool. You can also have it automatically open during the day in winter to warm your room with sunlight.”
“You can also install the solar power strip add-on to charge the SwitchBot Curtain’s battery using sunlight, thus eliminating the need to recharge the battery. Don’t worry about ‘charging anxiety’ on the SwitchBot Curtain. Install and forget! Leverage technology to take care of the daily routines through automation and voice control. A ‘Lights Off’ scene turns off the light and draws the curtains [to] brighten the room naturally with sunlight. Or you can just say ‘Alexa/Ok Google/Hey Siri, give me sunlight.’”
Some of the ways you can make the most of the SwitchBot include setting them to open and close automatically at dawn and dusk, putting them on a random schedule to make it look like someone’s home when you’re away, and using them to protect your home against the harshest hours of sunlight, which can make your living spaces unbearably hot during the summer.
Crucially, the SwitchBot is also making it possible to adopt smart home technology without creating too much excess waste. Smart home features aren’t for everyone, of course, and if you don’t need them, great! But don’t knock them flat-out, as they can be especially useful for the elderly and people with disabilities. Products like the SwitchBot also don’t require you to replace things you already own in order to use them, and that’s a huge plus.
Get all the details on the official SwitchBot Kickstarter page.