Over the past few years Xiaomi has built its fortune not only on smartphones but also on its smart home system, which can be considered one of the largest and most accessible on the market.
In fact, numerous accessories and gadgets compatible with Xiaomi's smart home system are available online (first of all the Aqara devices, one of the many brands that gravitate around the Chinese company) that allow you to create very complex and effective home automation systems with a few tens of euros.
But how does it work? let's clarify the operation and explain the characteristics of the Xiaomi system.
Xiaomi Smart Home Getaway and Mi Home
LoXiaomi Smart Home Gateway the essential and necessary Wi-Fi accessory to which all the other smart home devices scattered around the house will be connected; it connects directly to a wall socket and includes a light and a speaker.
Once the Getaway is connected, it will be possible to configure it and connect other gadgets through Mi Homefor iOS and Android, the dedicated application. With the app it will be possible to configure the devices and set the automations with sensors and actuators that connect with the protocol Zigbee low consumption and even appliances that connect via Wifi like the Xiaomi smart vacuum cleaner.
To make a comparison, the Xiaomi Smart Home Gateway can be considered the heart of the Xiaomi smart home, the gadget that brings the connection to all other smart devices; the Mi Home app instead the brain of the Xiaomi smart home, which allows users to configure the devices and configure the various automations.
On the Mi Home app the screens are not all translated into English at the moment (forget the Italian at the moment) but with the foreign expansion of Xiaomi the translations are coming and for the rest, thanks to the online guides and the support of the resellers, now it became easy to configure them by overcoming this language barrier.
However, there are other devices on the market equivalent to the Xiaomi Smart Home Gateway, such as theHub Aqara, and which can perform the same function, just make sure that they are compatible with Xiaomi smart gadgets.
To connect it to European sockets, a European adapter is required at a cost of approximately 1.50 Euros.
Smart Home devices
Once the Xiaomi Getaway has been positioned, it will be possible to start combining many other smart gadgets with the automation system, based on the needs, purposes and needs to be met at home. Below we offer a non-exhaustive overview of some sensors and devices that can be an interesting solution for a smart home. The prices as you can see are far below those of other Zigbee-based devices thanks to the very aggressive policy on discounts and direct purchase through Chinese retailers such as Gearbest (to which the prices of this article refer with discounts that can differ over time).
Door window sensor
One of the most useful and widespread among smart home sensors, the Xiaomidal window door sensor costing about 8 Euros, allows you to detect whether a door or window is open or closed.
Thanks to this sensor it is possible to carry out basic automations, for example to trigger an alarm (integrated in the Xiaomi Smart Home Getaway), or to program the lighting of a light when a door is opened, or the switching off of an air conditioner when a window not closed.
Volumetric motion sensor
Another indispensable in a smart home, the Xiaomidal motion sensor costing around 11 Euros detects the movement of people or things inside an environment. Once connected, it is also possible in this case to configure the switching on of a light, or the activation of a web cam with the attached recording of the video and the sending of a notification on your smartphone (always via the Mi Home app).
Motion and vibration sensor
One of the latest sensors released by Aqara the motion and vibration sensor with a cost that is around 12 Euros. If positioned on a surface capable of detecting more or less abrupt movements based on the settings: in fact it is possible to set the sensitivity on the basis of which the sensor will send a signal.
It can be installed on a surface, for example on a safe to detect its vibrations in case someone tries to break it, or on a drawer to signal its opening, or on doors and windows, always to detect closing or opening. Once the signal has been detected, it is possible to receive a notification, trigger an alarm or other.
Temperature and humidity sensor
Another very useful gadget, the Xiaomidal temperature and humidity sensor cost around 9 euros which monitors these two indicators in the environment in which it is positioned. It can be positioned both inside and outside in order to build different automations based on the environment.
The possible automations are easy to understand: activate an electric stove when a specific temperature is too cold, a dehumidifier in case of excessive humidity or an air conditioner when it is too hot.
We conclude with the inevitable smart video camera, costing 27 Euros but there are several Xiaomi models on sale that allow you to be configured with the smart home app.
In the case of video cameras, they necessarily require connection to the Getaway to operate, but the latter is necessary to create automations combined with other sensors, for example activate them if movement is detected inside a room.
In short, if we wanted to try a basic system with gateways, window sensors, motion sensors etc. the shopping list (with prices rounded up in steps of 1 Euro) would be this: Gateway 24 Euro, Eu Adapter 2 Euro, Door window sensor 8 Euro, Volumetric sensor 11 Euro, Movement and vibration sensor 12 Euro, Humidity sensor and temperature 12 Euros, Smart Camera 27 Euros. In practice, a starter kit at a cost of 97 Euros gross, plus the cost of a medium quality IP camera at "European" prices.
There are also many other smart accessories that can be used to enrich the smart home, gadgets not necessarily produced by Xiaomi but still compatible with its smart home automation system.
The Xiaomi ecosystem is increasingly expanding and thanks to it with a few tens of euros it is possible to incrementally create a complete and effective automation system, to be configured according to the needs of each.