Published on October 5th, 2017 | by Greg0
Sensibo Sky: Make Your Air Conditioner Smarter
Many people with smartphones have just dipped their toes lightly into smarthome technology- home automation gear like lighting controls. One of the biggest entrants into the category are the multiple different speaker options that offer a new way to interact with your other appliances and systems- but you still need products to interact with! And it’s likely that one of the most antiquated pieces of technology that you might want to control in your home or apartment is your air conditioner.
The Sensibo Sky is one a new set of wi-fi enabled, Alexa and Google Home-friendly A/C controllers that promises simple digital command over your analog unit. For those with whole-home, sophisticated HVAC units, a smart thermostat is probably the way to go- but this covers everyone else with a remote-controlled air conditioner (like most folks in New York City who get their heat via boilers but have window-mounted air conditioning for the summer). Summer might seem to be coming to a close up North, but there’s still many times over the next few months when you might want to get a bit of cooling relief, and especially if you live in warmer climes than Manhattan or if you have a remote-controlled heater unit as well.
The hardware here is fairly nondescript, but this is the second generation in fact, and it doesn’t require a hub or any additional hardware. Setup is fairly simple and the app is cleaner than most with both iOS and Android versions available- plus a very unusual web-based control you can fire up from your laptop or desktop computer. We liked the voice controls too- within minutes we were able to set a temperature and switch our A/C on and off from the comfort of our couch, with no remote control needed, even in the dark. You can setup seven-day scheduling as well, or detect your location using geo-fencing and automatically turn off the unit when people leave (or have it come on before you come home).
The Sensibo Sky beats most of the competition in the market that we’ve seen, and is compatible with a huge range of models (and makes it easy to see if yours will work). And if you’re the sophisticated, programmer type, you’ll appreciate Sensibo’s support for IFTTT and their open API tools that make integrations available across multiple platforms. And you can grab a single unit for around $119 online and in stores, a great price for a solid solution- or pick up a multi-pack with two, three, or more. The only real downside we noticed- the Sky is available only in black, though all of the cabling is white.