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Archos’ Smart Home tablet lets you become Big Brother for £200

Archos is jumping on the Internet of Things bandwagon with its new Smart Home kit, which lets you control multiple smart cameras from a tablet. 

The imaginatively-titled Smart Home concept affords you Big Brother-style levels of control over your own home. As well as being able to watch live camera feeds from various rooms, you’ll also be able to access and control weather sensors, and motion detectors. 

The Android-powered Smart Home tablet, which actually looks more like an alarm clock or beside radio than a tablet, is the central hub that controls everything. 

The Archos Smart Home kit puts up to 12 connected devices at your fingertips
The Archos Smart Home kit puts up to 12 connected devices at your fingertips

Costing £200, the Smart Home set comes with two cameras, two weather sensors and two motion detectors. More devices can be bought separately for around £29.99, should you wish to extend your sphere of influence. 

As Archos’ Smart Home is also an open system, it will also communicate with other devices that communicate on the 433MHz radio frequency. In theory you could use this to open the garage doors, set alarms and communicate with other home automation devices. 

Whilst the full range haven’t been announced yet, Archos says that they will be flogging a smart plug to control power supply of things like your TV set and a siren to serve as an alarm. 

Unlike other home automation devices – such as the Nest Protect – the Archos Smart Home has eschewed WiFi connectivity for Bluetooth Smart. This variant of the Bluetooth specification was launched in 2012, and is heavily focused on energy efficiency. 

As a result, the Archos Smart Home peripherals only need small amounts of energy – the batteries should be good for a year. 

The tablets and sensors have an effective range of 20 meters. Up to 12 devices can be connected to the Smart Home tablet at once. 

Archos has also pre-installed Tasker on the tablet. This app – usually £2.99 from the Google Play store – has some of the same functionality of IFTTT (If This Then That). 

You’ll now be able to create simple programs that perform an action whenever a condition is met. For example, the tablet could be instructed to email a picture from one of the attached cameras when the motion detector senses the front door being opened. 

When you’re not at home, you can remotely monitor your Archos Smart Home set up from the iOS or Android apps. 

Smart Home marks the first foray into connected home tech for French firm Archos, perhaps better known for their media players and budget-level Android tablets and phones.

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