Imagine you’ve got a mini-split air conditioner. Now, imagine you’re me, and don’t want to have to get up to use a remote control to change temperatures or turn it on.
In some apartments I’ve lived in, the air con is central, but you have little remote ‘eye’ receivers mounted at the top of a doorframe, or in a room. This works out great, until the receiver for the air conditioning is in a room other than the one you’re in.
This is where LOOK.in Remote 2 comes in.
What is LOOK.in Remote 2?
Imagine a small box with multiple IR LEDs, blasting infrared remote control signals out in directions. It can be powered by AA batteries or USB power. This is good because it means you can place it where you need it, or use it with a power adapter so you don’t have to change batteries.
LOOK.in Remote 2 uses Wi-Fi and works with Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, and others, so you could place one in the room where your AC receives remote signals and make adjustments from your phone or Siri.
What makes this different from other IR blasters?
A few things. LOOK.in2 monitors the AC to see that it turned on or off when it was sent the command to turn on or off. It monitors to see that it registers the temperature change. This monitoring is said to work even if you turn change it with the original remote control, so that the on/off/temperature state doesn’t get out of sync with the air con.
Remote2 has the ability to connect an external temperature sensor and an external IR transmitter, making it that much smarter at both controlling the air conditioning, and reporting the temperature for automations.
Unlike most smart home systems, where you would program automations exclusively in the phone, Remote2 can have automations programmed into it directly, so that it can act even if Wi-Fi goes down.
What’s out of the box, vs future support?
Out of the box, it supports native HomeKit for controlling AC. It also works with Google Assistant, and soon to support Alexa.
Separately, it will work with NodeRed, local MQTT, Home Assistant, Homebridge and others in the near future. For control using these systems, you may also be able to control TVs, fans, media centers, humidifiers and more.
But honestly? If you’ve got an air conditioner that uses a remote control, and use HomeKit with an Apple device, this is perfect. But you don’t want to miss it: there are just a few days left for it to get funded on Kickstarter, where you can back it for $49.