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Super cheap Smart Home kit brings automation to the masses

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
June 20, 2014
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If you're wondering when home automation might tip into the Walmart-level mainstream, here's a sign: Archos' Smart Home starter kit is now on sale. Along with two cameras, two movement tags and two weather tags, they're throwing in a controlling tablet, all for $250 -- or $25 each for the cameras and sensors. Considering the tablet, that's even cheaper than SmartThings' low-end kit. Archos says it's the first to use the Bluetooth Smart tech in connected homes and engineered it to work at double the normal distance (65 instead of 32 feet) with up to 13 devices. That'll permit it to take a photo when a movement-tagged door is opened, for instance, using its scenario editor and the Tasker Android app. Archos also has controllable plug sockets, alarm sirens, motion-detectors and even a pet tracker planned for the future. The kit should hit its online shop soon, but fair warning -- Archos is known for low-priced, but not exactly high-end goods.

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