Archos is the company behind one of the very first Android-run tablets. It also sells app-enabled gadgets like this Bluetooth scale. Now, it's taking home automation to the next level with a preorderable $250 Smart Home starter pack, which is also available for preorder in the UK for £199.99.
This kit includes a tablet, two small cameras, two movement sensor "tags," and two environmental sensors designed to track temperature and humidity. There's no need for a separate hub since the hardware is paired to the tablet and the related Archos Smart Home Android and iOS apps via Bluetooth 4.0. And, you will be able to buy individual add-on devices starting at $25 -- a smart plug, a siren, and a movement sensor "ball" are slated to be released soon.
The $3 Tasker app is also compatible with this system, allowing Android users to do more advanced customization. This Archos Smart Home system is also supposed to work with select 433MHz radio frequency products. That way, you can work your garage door opener and other devices into Archos' central hub and operate everything from the same place.
While this starter pack sounds somewhat similar to the Sentri, Piper, and Canary systems in terms of features, the Archos system feels much less accessible. $250 isn't unreasonable, but how much more affordable would it be without the tablet? Sentri offers a screen interface as well, but its camera, motion sensor, and environmental sensors are also built into the unit, making it a logical, centralized hub.
If the Archos mobile app displays the same information, I'd rather skip the tablet altogether. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be an option with Archos' Smart Home starter pack, making the kit feel somewhat overpriced. Still, there might be a market for a tablet-centric home automation system. Android users: Is this the kit you've been waiting for?