Ikea is getting into home automation with a new smart hub

Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge:  Ikea is finally getting into the home automation game with its own system for smart lighting. The new range of products is called Trådfri — which means “wireless” in Swedish — and is built around the ZigBee Light Link standard for connected lights (the same as Philips Hue). The system seems to have rolled out to select European countries last fall, but will be seeing a larger release at the end of March.

The core of the Trådfri system is a gateway device that connects to the internet via an Ethernet connection and creates a local Trådfri network to connect local bulbs. Like most of Ikea’s wares, the company is pursing an extremely aggressive pricing scheme, with a base set of the internet gateway, a remote, and two Trådfri bulbs running just 749 kr, or roughly $85.40.

But the most interesting part of the system isn’t in the internet gateway, but in what might be a motion-controlled dimmer switch, which exists as a colorful standalone puck that — if this incredibly awkward Ikea promotion video can be trusted — can dim lights simply by rolling it around in your hand. (It’s also possible that this video is dramatizing things a bit.) The dimmer switch can also work independently from the connected system, and is the cheapest part of the range, with a light and a dimmer switch costing 179 kr ($20.41).  Full Article:

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