With so many smart home hubs on the market, it can be hard to tell one apart from the next. Some hubs claim to be easier to set up than others, while other hubs claim to have more device compatibility. However, Oomi has managed to distinguish itself. How? Oomi doesn’t rely solely on the internet, giving you the ability to keep your smart home smart even if your internet goes out. Although Oomi does have other unique features, this Wi-Fi independence is what makes it stand out.
Background on Oomi
So far, Oomi looks poised for success. It started as a crowdfunded project and has had a tremendous outpouring of support. Oomi reached its original Indiegogo goal in record time, raising over one million dollars in 22 days. They've successfully shipped Oomi to backers, and it's now available to the public.
Oomi’s backing was strong because of the product’s uniqueness. It’s a home automation system that allows you to control your home’s security, media, lighting, and more. All of this is accomplished using a controller in the form of a tablet. Best of all, there’s no need to access the cloud to control your home. This is good news for those rightfully concerned about privacy.
What Is The Oomi Cube?
The Oomi cube is the hub…the heart, of Oomi. It communicates with all of your other Oomi devices and does so on its own, without using the internet. While other hubs need internet to access the cloud to communicate with connected devices, Oomi Cube is smart enough to handle the job by itself. It works whether or not there is an internet connection.
Another difference between Oomi Cube and other hubs is that Oomi Cube has multiple functions. With it, you can control any nearby IR-controlled home theater system or any IR-controlled thermostat. It accomplishes this by offering a 360 degree "IR blaster."
The Oomi Cube also has built-in environmental sensors, giving you information on your home’s security and comfort. There are seven sensors, making the Cube equipped to measure temperature, noise, humidity, light, vibrations, breaking glass, and motion.
One of the features that helps Oomi Cube stand out is the built-in camera. The camera offers night vision and allows you to view live footage of your home through the Oomi app.
Oomi Camera Specs
As a security camera, the Cube offers decent features. It streams in 720p, it has a 110° field of view, and it has night vision. It uses a separate image sensor for detecting motion, which can effectively sense movement from 18 feet away. However, the motion sensor's field of view is limited to 100°. In addition to motion detection, the camera can also detect loud noise and recognize the sound of shattering glass.
The Cube uses Z-Wave to communicate with other smart home products. This is a huge selling point, because you are not limited to products made by Oomi. Instead, you can use any number of Z-Wave devices to stay connected with your home. While Oomi doesn't have a list of certified devices, most Z-Wave devices should work.
How Do You Control Oomi?
Unlike other smart home systems, the smart phone app isn’t the highlight. Although Oomi can be monitored and controlled through iOS and Android apps, the Oomi Touch is the main controller. It’s the system interface: a sleek-looking tablet with widgets that give you one-touch control over connected devices.
Oomi Touch also allows you to pair devices to the system. All Oomi devices have an orange dot on them. You simply tap the orange dot on the Touch to the orange dot on the device, and voila. Though we were testing a prototype at CES 2016, this feature worked surprisingly well. We were able to confuse it once, but for the most part, it connected with devices quickly simply by tapping.
Though I feel the ability to work without internet is what makes Oomi different, the Oomi team feels like the ease of setting up Oomi and connected devices is what sets it apart. Their goal was to create a product that someone could easily put in their home and the simple touch to connect process puts them on track to meet that goal.
Beyond setup, the touch feature is also used to create home automation sequences. For example, if you want your smart lightbulb to turn on when your door is opened, you first tap the lightbulb and then the door and window sensor to help Oomi understand that you want to create a relationship between the two devices. The Touch will then display a guide to walk you through setting up a rule. For example, you can set the bulb to turn red when the door is opened or blue or whatever color makes you happy.
Finally, you can mount Oomi Touch on a wall. Or, if you’d rather, you can keep it on a desk stand. It charges on a sleek, black dock.
Other Oomi Products
You’re not limited to using the Cube and the Touch. Oomi has several other products you can pair with the system to give you ultimate home automation.
1. Oomi Cam
Although the Cube comes with a built-in camera, you can get another one in the form of Oomi Cam. With it, you get a built-in siren, night vision, 1080p video resolution, an LED light, 2-way audio, motion and sound detection, as well as a tamper detector. You can get alerts or view live feed through the Oomi app.
Oomi Cam is weatherproof so that you can use it outdoors or indoors. It also has a backup battery.
2. Oomi Plug
When you plug an appliance into Oomi Plug, you can turn it on or off through the controller. It also monitors your energy use and has a light band that changes color as your energy use increases or decreases.
3. Oomi Air
Mounted on the back of the Cube, Oomi Air monitors the fine particles in your home’s air.
4. Oomi Bulb
When you install an Oomi Bulb in a light fixture, the light is dimmable using the Touch or the app. It has a white and color mode. Oomi boasts a “full-color spectrum” (16 million colors), so you can set your lighting to the ideal setting. And as an added bonus? It only uses 9 watts of energy.
5. Oomi Streamer
For all of your entertainment needs, Oomi Streamer is at your service. It has an 8 GB flash drive to store video and audio and connects to the internet, allowing you to stream HD video from all the major players.
6. Oomi MultiSensor
The MultiSensor is a tiny sensor that can be mounted, recessed, or set on a surface. It functions as a motion sensor, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, ambient light sensor, and vibration sensor. The battery life is 3 years, and it recharges with a USB cable.
7. Oomi Door and Window Sensor
The door/window sensor works like any other door and window sensor, notifying you when a door or window is opened or closed. However, what's different about it is the design. It has a triangular shape, and it's paintable to blend with any environment.
8. Oomi Water Sensor
You can use the water sensor to be alerted when there’s flooding in an area of your home, or to keep an eye on the water level of your fish tank.
9. Oomi Siren
The Oomi Siren plugs right into any outlet. It includes battery backup for when power fails and can sound a 100+dB alarm.
Oomi has several other devices in their repertoire including a light strip, in wall dimmer, and a wallmote.
Besides offering a variety of automation and security products, Oomi integrates with other smart home brands to further expand their reach in the smart home market.
If you own a Nest Thermostat, you can add it to your Oomi system and control it using Oomi Touch. This means that you can also add a Nest Thermostat to your automation tasks and scenes. In addition, Oomi will enhance Nest Thermostat's occupancy detection using via its own motion sensor.
The Oomi system also integrates with Amazon's AI assistant, Alexa. The Alexa integration lets you control individual devices, scenes, or all your devices at once using nothing but your voice. Of course, you must own an Alexa-enabled device to take advantage of this integration.
You can also add Philips Hue to your Oomi system. By doing so, you will be able to control Hue and make it a part of your automation rules or scenes.
Schlage Smart Locks
Oomi works with Schlage-made smart locks. Oomi doesn't offer a smart lock of its own, so if you're looking for a lock to go with your Oomi smart home system, this is the one.
Oomi's latest integration is with SafeTrek, a personal safety app for iOS and Android devices. Though you can use Oomi for free, you do have to pay for Safetrek access ($2.99/month). However, the service is a step between self and professional monitoring.
With a SafeTrek subscription, you will have access to SafeTrek's Five Diamond-certified call centers via the Oomi app. If Oomi detects an emergency, it will first send an alert to your phone. If you confirm the event, you can activate your SafeTrek service.
Final Thoughts on A Smart Home With Oomi
Oomi is a refreshing take on the smart home. It’s nice to see a hub that can do so much more than sit on a table. And the ability to pair with Z-wave devices and several big names in the industry means that the home automation potential is tremendous.
Although we haven't had the chance to test their final product, they have been getting a lot of positive reviews online. If you're looking for a smart home system to protect and automate your home, you should consider Oomi. They're currently offering the Oomi Home Starter Kit for $499, which includes an Oomi Cube, Touch, Infinity Dock (for the Touch tablet), a Door/Window Sensor, Multisensor, four Quick Tags, and a magnetic lens cover for the Cube. If that's too much for you, you might want to wait until later this year when Oomi plans to launch a lower cost kit.