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CNET First Look
Oomi's intriguing smart home kit costs way too muchThere's a lot to like about this versatile smart home system -- except for the $700 price tag, that is.
[MUSIC] Two years ago, a smart home startup called Oomi successfully crowdfunded $1.7 million for a new starter kit for a connected living space. And here it is, the Oomi home smart home system. It comes with this dedicated control tablet and Oomi cube camera hub, a smart switch for turning lamps, fans, and other appliances on and off, and two color changing smart bulbs. One of the really nifty things about UMI's system is that all of the gadgets have near-field communication built in, or NFC for short. With NFC, two devices can connect to each other just by being in proximity. So when I bring the tablet up to the bulb like this, it starts to change colors, and pairs up automatically, just like that, a really easy way to set up your system. Oomi offers a range of other gadgets you can add to your setup [UNKNOWN] style. And the system also syncs up with Nest, Phillips hue and you can connect it with Alexa too. Though I wasn't able to test that part out because Oomi's Alexa skills are still a work in progress. All in all, its still a pretty good pitch as far as smart home platforms go. And as I tested it out here in the C|NET smart apartment, everything worked reliably well. You can create custom automatons right on the tablet. That'll do things like like turn lights on when motion is detected. You can use the tablet as a makeshift universal remote and you can use Oomi as a DIY security system too. The big problem is that this starter kit costs $700. $700, to put that in to perspective, let's take another look at the kit. Replace those two bulbs with a pair of Lightex bulbs. Replace that smart switch with a Falcon Wemo Mini. Swap a nest cam in for that Oomi Cube and replace the tablet controller with an Amazon Echo Show. Those are all well reviewed alternatives with better features than what Oomi offers. And the total cost for them all is just $585. And that's if you're buying everything full price. For me, that's just too tough to reconcile. I like Oomi as a simple, no fuss smart home system, but there's just no way I'd recommend spending $700 on it. [MUSIC]