The problem with building a smart home is the sheer range of sensors that you need if you want to automate and monitor problem. The Oval 2.0 aims to change that with a single sensor that can monitor motion, light, humidity, and temperature, and ships with an add-on water-leak sensor, too.
An update to the original Oval sensor, which wasn’t available in the UK, Oval 2.0 is currently available on Kickstarter, starting at $119 for a kit that includes one sensor and the gateway. The normal RRP is $269, which is a lot of money for a sensor system, even one as smart as the Oval 2.0.
The big changes in Oval 2.0, compared to the original sensor, come from the way that the sensors can interact with other devices. I’ve been playing with the original Oval sensors for a while, and their limitation is that they can only notify you about what they’ve detected, such as picking up motion, but that’s it. That’s handy as an exercise in giving you more insight about your what’s going on in your house, but the smart home is about more than just knowing what’s going on.
Oval 2.0 will support IFTTT. Being able to control things automatically, based on what the sensors detect could be extremely powerful. The channel is currently not live but is due to launch when the sensors are available (around September 2017).
SmartThings and Wink support are potentially more interesting, letting you integrate the Oval 2.0 sensors directly into your smart home. For example, turning on a light automatically when motion is detected, or changing the SmartThings mode based on the ambient light level.
Oval 2.0 will also support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you query the sensors, say asking what the temperature is in the living room. It’s nice to see, although this type of information is less useful than having the sensors control your home.
Related: Amazon Alexa guide
With the right price and the integrations working, Oval 2.0 could well be the only sensor that you need to automate and monitor your smart home. I’ll have to reserve judgement until I get my hands on the review sample later in the year.