The Aqara Cube. A magical smart home controller? – Talks with Homey

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Woodworking Plans Banner

Hey guys, it's Alex here from Homey. In this video, I
want to highlight the Aqara Cube. Now this is a super kind of unique and quirky smart home 
device that you can use to control   some of the devices in your smart home. Now it's 
not super clear from the packaging or advertising of this product what exactly it does so I wanted 
to dive into this together with you and see what's   possible with this cube device. Now I want to warn 
you there are some funny ideas coming up that our   community has come up with for using this cube 
at home.

But first, let's see what's possible once   you connect it up to Homey. Let's dive into it and 
head to devices, you'll see I've already paired up   my cube for pairing instructions wait till the end of this video.
If I head into my tile for my cube   I'll see that there's a couple of things that it's 
tracking, so it has a slide – oh – it just changed to   rotate because I think I touched it but the last 
motion that happened is rotate. It's face up on   face one and the last rotation is minus 14 degrees. 
So this is already a little bit complicated what's   exactly going on here. Let's explore it. So if I 
flip the cube, you'll see that this changes. Now   face two is up and the last motion it recorded is 
a flip of 90 degrees. Let's do this one more time Now I'm on face four and I flipped 
90 degrees if i flip it across 180   the cube also records this and knows now it's back 
on face one. So, that's what it's tracking for the   cube.

The next step is to attach a couple of Flows 
to these movements. So let's head into Flows and   create a Flow. Now what I want to do as a simple 
example of what's capable of, is toggle this lamp   on and off doing a 180 degree flip. Let's set this 
up, let's add a card, we'll head down to the queue   Now here you see a list of the actions for 
a 'when'-card so these are actions that can   trigger certain events, if you're familiar 
with Flows you're going to understand this   so what we want to do is when the cube is flipped 

But there are also different things here so   you can do a Flow for when the cube is shaked, 
when it's flipped 90 degrees, if the cube has slid   if the cube has been double tapped or the 
cube is rotated. So there's a bunch of options   and you can get as creative as you want, but 
let's head to cube has been flipped 180 degrees. I'm going to say any side up, here you could also 
specify what side is up after the 180 degree flip   I'm going to hit the check mark, head to 'then' 
and say what action I want the cube to do, once   it's been flipped 180 degrees.

So that is 
my film studio, select my studio desk lamp   and I'm going to say: toggle on or off. Hit check 
mark and hit save. Give it a quick name, so cube 180   just to remember what that's all 
about and now if I flip the cube   the light should turn off. Let's see if this 
works, flip it over and the light turns off   So now if I flip it again 180 degrees, comes back 
on, now you can see immediately just from here that   there's a lot of options you can do to this. You 
can have different flips, take different actions   So one of the fun things I thought might be 
great is to add a Flow for when you shake it   that it changes or randomizes the color of 
your lights. That might be really fun for at   home, when you're trying these things with family 
members and you're showing them the smart device   they have no idea what it does, they give it a 
shake and all the colors change in your room   That'd be quite fun, so I'm going to set that up. 
Let's head to back to Flows and then to the cube   Now in this case I want to say cube is shaked, any 
side up so doesn't matter which side was up.

Then   I'm going to add a card for the light, to 
randomize color. So I head to the light I   wanted to use and say 'set a random color'. Hit 
the check mark. I'll save this, say cube shake… ..random. Now if I shake the cube, my light color 
should change. Let's try this, give it a good shake… – try it again – and the color changes to 
red. Let's try it one more time – and blue   so it's quite a fun sort of quirky little 
smart home gadget you can have at home   Now I've shown you a couple of the things that 
you can do with it and our community has come   up with a couple of ideas for themselves, so 
some of them use them as audio controllers   so have it for instance skip a song if 
you rotate it 90 degrees to the left   or play last song if you rotate it to the 
right, you can also change the angle of it   to alter the volume of your audio system..

a lot of different things you can do with it, but   one of the great ideas that that person had, was to 
add stickers for what movements are actually being   done. So as you can see, there's not much telling 
you on the cube itself what setting it's at   So if the cube is face up on a side, I'm not sure 
what's going to happen if I flip it over, so it   really helps to sort of add some icons to the cube, 
to identify what side is what – and then to remind   yourself what Flows you've attached to it.

The Aqara 
Cube also comes with a couple of flaws. The shake   sensitivity is relatively high, so if you have it 
lying on a desk and you hit that desk, sometimes   the cube thinks it's being shook. And then it 
triggers the Flow for your lights to randomize   Another one is, it has a function to do angle 
and to use this for instance to dim some lights   Now I've set this up in a Flow 
but it's relatively hard to do   So let me show you what I'm talking about. Let 
me quickly set my lights to a normal color. And   if I now try and dim the lights it's a little 
bit difficult, so I'm going to rotate the cube   about 45 degrees.

Now the light will dim down. I'm 
not sure to what sensitivity or to where, but it's   dimmed, okay. Now to dim up the light you have to 
go somewhere past 90 degrees, only to the left   so I'm gonna do it about 75 degrees, and the light 
should increase in brightness – try that again – Okay, well this highlights what I'm talking about. 
It's relatively difficult to get this thing to   dim your lights to an accurate level of what you 
wanted, so I would not recommend it as a dimmer. So I've shown you some of the cool 
features that you can use the Aqara Cube for   Now we don't recommend it to dim your lights 
with, because that's a little bit tricky. But it   is a fun little device to have in any smart home 
to entertain your guests or your kids with. Now   I wish you good luck and I hope that you can get 
creative with the cube and figure out some of the   things that I might not have explored yet.

I want to show you how to pair the Aqara Cube with Homey.
Let's see how this is done so the first thing you have to do is open up the cube itself. In the package you get this little metal tong, which you can use to open up the back of the cube The next step is to find the pairing 
instructions. Let's head into devices,   hit the plus and search for Aqara and the 
brand names. So here's Aqara and Xiaomi Now we want to find the device.. Let's 
head down to the cube and hit connect So to add the cube, what we need to do, is hold 
the cube during inclusion in close proximity to   Homey.

Okay, well we're relatively close here 
on the same desk. Then long-press the reset   button for more than three seconds until the blue 
light flashes three times. Okay, hold it down – one   – two – three. I see the blue lights 
flashing and I'll release. Keep pressing   the button until every two seconds to 
keep the sensor awake during pairing   Oh, we see how quickly that's done. The 
cube has now been paired to Homey..

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You May Also Like

About the Author: tech