K Kit Ties Your Non-Smart Appliances With Smart Ones. Is It Worth It?By - 02/26/2016
Most smart homes today are still disconnected. Let’s say you have connected lights, a RF remote-controlled garage door, and a regular ‘ole TV. Gluing these devices together into one system is like welding lumber to steel; it won’t work. Even if you find a way, you will be left with a cluster of apps. You might have an app to control the lights, another for your thermostat, and a special app to control your security system. That’s not counting the remote controls for your TV or your garage door controller – all cluttering up your coffee table. But no worries, there is a possible solution to this smart home problem. Hailing all the way from China, meet K Kit. K Kit a smart home system created by Konke Tech and is currently being funded through Indiegogo.
K Kit is Connecting Unconnected Homes
K Kit is a hub-centric system of 7 devices. The hub connects with an Infrared controller, a Radio Frequency controller, an induction light that acts as a Z-Wave controller, 2 motion sensors, 2 open/shut sensors, and a temperature and humidity sensor. These devices all work together to make your home smart. But how?
First, K Kit connects your disconnected devices together. It does this using three different forms of communication.
- The Infrared controller syncs with the existing IR sequence of your IR remote-controlled devices. This list includes things like your TV or even your X-Box.
- The Radio Frequency controller does the same thing, but with your RF remote-controlled devices. This list includes things like your garage door.
- The Z-Wave controller connects with Z-Wave home automation devices. This list includes things like smart lights, locks, and certain thermostats, and is the same type of communication used by other hubs including SmartThings and Lowes’ Iris.
After connecting your disconnected devices, K Kit works as a universal remote control in the form of the K Kit app. The app allows you to control connected devices, whether you are a stone’s throw or miles away, so long as your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network or 4G/LTE. You can control your devices individually, or create modes to control a group of devices at once and based on a schedule. For example, you can create a “Good Night” mode and activate it to turn off your TV, arm the sensors, and dim your lights.
K Kit connects and controls, but it also monitors to make sure your home is okay. The temperature and humidity sensor sends you an hourly report of your home’s temperature and humidity. The open/shut sensor alerts you when the door, window, or drawer it is affixed to has been opened. And the motion sensor notifies you when motion is detected within its view. You can also use these devices within scenes, as described above, or with rules. Rules can be created within the app using the if-then format. For example, you can potentially scare away intruders by creating a rule that if the motion sensor detects motion, then the lights should turn on. Or keep your home comfy by creating a rule that the air conditioner should turn on if the temperature reaches 80 degrees. Even better, you can make these rules trigger a mode instead of individual devices.
Easy As Pie
You don’t need to be tech savvy to get K Kit running. The hub plugs to a central outlet. The sensors all connect to the hub wirelessly. The controllers go into the hub’s 3 USB ports. The IR controller must be less than 50 feet from the devices it controls and the RF controller should be less than 500 feet away. Easy peasy, no?
Do you have Z-Wave home automation gadgets, Infrared-controlled appliances, and RF controlled devices? K Kit can help. At the same time, it is slightly more complicated than the average setup. I personally wouldn’t invest in K Kit, but I also don’t feel the need to control my TV from halfway around the world. For me, I would rather purchase a hub that plays with other popular home automation devices and also one that has been tested for multiple years. SmartThings, for example, is well-established and works with thousands of other devices. K Kit can’t. It is limited. First, you only have 3 sensors. Sensor data is handy when automating your home, so the more sensors, the better. Second, it doesn’t play well with other home automation brands. Third, K Kit is not as expandable as other systems.
With all that said, I still have a lot of questions about the product. Can one IR controller control multiple devices, or just one? If one controller can control multiple devices, then good. But if it can only control one, then you may need multiple systems for your home. Also, can it control any Z-Wave device or are there restrictions?
4/28/2017 UPDATE: K Kit’s IndieGoGo campaign was successful, and their kits started shipping out months ago. But here’s the thing: Those who backed the campaign are not happy with the final product. It’s buggy, the app is hard to navigate due to language barriers, and the product isn’t as reliable as promissed during the campaign.
If you still want to check it out, click here. K Kit systems are still currently offered for pre-order.