Aqara Curtain Driver E1 Leaves SwitchBot’s Smart Controller Thinking

A couple of months back, I wrote about how technological advancement is making us fall into hebetude of a lazy lifestyle. Back then, SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 was the backdrop of my discussion. Today, stich is the same, but the attention is drifted from Japan to China. Or shall I say from SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 to Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1!

SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 was a Japanese product but Chinese company Aqara is giving stiff competition to its old rivals. Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1 was previously only available in China, the curtain controller is now attainable in Europe and USA.

We are talking tech and should strictly restrict ourselves to that. However, a healthy comparison between two products won’t toil the relationship between the neighboring countries. Bringing the focus back to the Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1, it does everything from functioning as an automatic shade to smart window covering. Just like any other automated curtain controller, Aqara Smart Curtain Driver mounts onto an existing curtain track and allows users to draw curtains open and close without the hassle of getting up from their couch.

There isn’t a stark difference between Switchbot Curtain Rod 2 and Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1. Both use voice commands to control the curtains over Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and other compatible assistants. But there is a catch! If you are pondering whether Aqara Curtain Driver E1 can be connected to the mobile phone directly, the answer is no.

The Aqara Curtain Driver E1 cannot be connected to the mobile phone directly. It requires an Aqara Zigbee 3.0 hub to execute the function. Users need to connect the Aqara Hub with the mobile phone, and then connect the Aqara Curtain Driver E1 to the hub. The Aqara Zigbee 3.0 hub is sold separately.

SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 might have gained some points there, but nevertheless, what edges Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1 over its Japanese competitor is the customization speed of the curtain rod driver. The user can customize the speed of the Aqara Curtain Driver’s motor from the application to open calmly over an hour. This will not only allow you to enjoy the dawning sunrise but also cherish the lingering sunset.

In a nutshell, just like the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2, Aqara Smart Curtain Driver E1 works with Aqara’s own ecosystem. However, the former didn’t require any hub and was compatible with Bluetooth, but it did connect to a hub if you’re away from home. Well, moving on to Aqara, the company says that when paired to its Camera Hub G3, its curtain driver can also be controlled with hand gestures. Well, that is awesome!

Overall, Aqara smart curtain driver works well with Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT as aforementioned. Not just this, it will also be compatible with Matter when the new smart home standard arrives later this winter (supposedly).

Other features include a built-in light sensor so you can set the curtains to open and close based on the ambient light in the room. Furthermore, the curtain rod driver produces very little noise while operating which would let you sleep/work peacefully.

Also Read: 10+ Best Smart Window Blinds and Motorized Shades

Weighing 26 lbs, Aqara’s E1 driver is entirely wireless and features a built-in 6,000mAh battery that should presumably last for up to a year on a single charge. After that, it can be conveniently charged with a USB Type-C cable.

The Aqara Curtain Driver E1 is available on Amazon for $90. The driver supports curtain rods with diameters between 25-32mm with a smooth surface but it does not support telescopic rods.

Aqara curtain driver e1
Image: aqara
Aqara curtain driver e1
Image: aqara

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