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Make your aging air conditioner cool again with this pile of sensors

Make your aging air conditioner cool again with this pile of sensors
Richard Lai
Richard Lai|@richardlai|October 7, 2014 12:27 PM

Many folks who reside in South East Asia will agree that during the summer, air conditioners can be temperamental at times -- your room's either too cold or not cold enough. As a result, users -- including this author in Hong Kong -- end up having to pick up the remote control every now and then to adjust the temperature. This is exactly what Hong Kong's Ambi Labs is trying to solve: This startup has just launched its Ambi Climate device on Kickstarter, and the idea here is that you're adding a small hub that uses local weather data plus sunlight, air flow, temperature, humidity and movement detection, in order to adjust the air conditioner accordingly with its infrared transmitter (Ambi Labs says it can quickly add your remote to the database if it's missing). With the room temperature staying more consistent, you're saving both energy and the hassle of finding the remote.

Gallery: Ambi Climate | 6 Photos


In addition to the sensor hub, the Ambi Climate also comes with a companion app for your Android or iOS device, which lets you control your room temperature and humidity even when you're not at home. Better yet, it can use geo-location and movement detection to automatically turn your air conditioners on or off, depending on whether you're about to return home or have left a room. The app also learns your preferences and stores them in the cloud, meaning you can apply the same condition settings across multiple Ambi Climate hubs for other air conditioners in your household and even your office. Last but not least, you get visualization on your air conditioner usage, room condition log and estimated energy consumption in the app.

With over 250 backers already pledged, most of the early-bird beta units due in November are already gone, but you can get a mass-produced Ambi Climate from as low as $79, or a double pack for $169, or a triple pack for $249, all due in June 2015 -- just in time for next summer.

Make your aging air conditioner cool again with this pile of sensors