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Oomi's slick smart home system is a jack of all trades

With a DIY security camera, a smart plug, color-changing bulbs, a robust automation engine and a dedicated control tablet, Oomi promises a more comprehensive connected home.

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Ry Crist
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1 of 13 Chris Monroe/CNET

The Oomi Home starter kit offers comprehensive smarts for the connected living space. You could even call it a bit of an over-achiever, what with the DIY security camera, two color-changing bulbs, smart plug, robust rules engine and the dedicated control tablet that doubles as a universal remote. The asking price for all of that: $700.

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What's in the box

Oomi ships out in a distinctive black box with Gucci-esque gold lettering. It feels fancier than the bland, white plastic devices commonly found in kits like this.

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Control tablet

One of the things that sets Oomi apart from its competitors is that it comes with a dedicated touchscreen control tablet and its own magnetic dock for wireless charging. That's a rarity for a DIY kit -- usually, you only see control tablets in high-end, dealer-installed systems.

The tablet works well and includes simplified controls for creating automated rules that tell your smart home gear what to do. You can also pair those buttons on the left with the buttons on your TV remote, then use the tablet to channel surf.

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NFC connections

Something else that sets Oomi apart is its inclusion of near-field communications (NFC) in each device. With NFC, your devices can connect automatically whenever they're brought in close proximity of each other. That makes it a cinch to set things up.

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Oomi Cube

That camera is the Oomi Cube, and it's actually the central hub of the entire system. It's a little bigger than other cameras like it because it includes built-in sensors for things like motion, light, and air quality. There's also a Z-Wave radio that keeps it in touch with the rest of your system.

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Camera feed

You can view the Oomi Cube's camera feed on the tablet. Or you can check it on your Android or iOS device using the Oomi app.

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Oomi Plug

Oomi's kit also includes a smart plug that can turn anything you plug into it on and off automatically. That's pretty standard fare for a kit like this.

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Nice design

Still, Oomi did a nice job with its plug. The color-coded indicator lights and USB port for charging your devices are both thoughtful inclusions.

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Color-changing bulbs

Another nice inclusion: Two color-changing smart bulbs.

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Automation engine

You can use the tablet to program automated rules that dictate what your system will do. For instance, the camera's motion sensor can trigger lights to come on. Or you could schedule them to change color or color temperature at a specific time of day.

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Oomi and Alexa

Oomi also works with Alexa. Sync the system up with an Alexa-enabled device like this Amazon Echo Dot, and you'll be able to turn lights on and off or launch a preprogrammed scene using a simple voice command.

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Alexa skill

To sync with Alexa, you'll need to enable the Oomi skill in the Alexa app.

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Not working just yet

Unfortunately, that Alexa skill is still in beta as of writing, so I wasn't able to review the feature.

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