With Intellithings' RoomMe, you may never have to speak to Alexa or Google Home to control your smart home devices. The RoomMe, available later this year for an estimated $69, senses where your smartphone is in your home, and will adjust your smart home gadgets accordingly.
The battery-powered RoomMe is about the size of a large smoke detector, and mounts to the ceiling. After installing the RoomMe (you'll need one for every room in which there are smart devices you want to control), you then program the RoomMe app to recognize your phone via Bluetooth and your smart home devices.
For example, when you walk into your bedroom, the RoomMe will automatically turn on your smart lights and adjust your thermostat to presets you've defined earlier in the RoomMe app. You can create different settings based on the time of day, the day itself, and more. Of course, this presumes that you carry your smartphone with you wherever you go in your house.
RoomMe's app can also be set up with multiple profiles if you like your lights at one setting and your partner likes them set at another brightness.
Currently, the RoomMe only works with Philips Hue and Lifx smart lights, Nest and Ecobee thermostats, and Bose and Sonos speakers. The company is looking to add more partners, such as HomeKit and SmartThings, so that you can automatically trigger scenes you've set up with those smart home systems.
While other smart home devices can be automatically activated based on your phone's location using geolocation, it's been limited to just the general area around your house. RoomMe takes this automation to the next level by allowing you to control things on a room-to-room basis. We'll be interested to see how practical it is in everyday use.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.