Smart sensor maker Oval has launched a second version of its multi-purpose smart home sensor, the Oval 2.0.
The Oval 2.0 is an upgraded version of its do-it-all home sensor, which you can position around your home to perform a variety of functions. It can monitor light, motion temperature, and humidity – and comes with an add-on water sensor, too. The beauty is that how you use Oval is up to you.
Oval 2.0 has been slimmed down, but the amount of support for smart home systems has grown. Oval promises the sensor will work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, SmartThings, Ring, Wink and IFTTT – and the company claims that HomeKit support will arrive at some point – though we certainly wouldn’t hold your breath for that as no date has been offered. Oval connects via a bridge which you place in your home, so we'd assume that can be upgraded for the HomeKit aspect pretty easily.
But it's not all about integrations. The app itself looks pretty slick, and you can set up rules and alerts from there, if you'd rather.
While Alexa and Assistant support is certainly the most eye-catching headline here, it’s actually the other functionality which is more useful. Alexa and Assistant only offer limited support for sensors, and don’t currently allow you to create actions/routines based on them. However, if you’re using SmartThings, IFTTT or Wink, you’ll be able to do much more with an Oval 2.0 – such as setting rules based on temperature or humidity for, example.
Oval has taken to Kickstarter to offer up pre-orders of the Oval 2.0 and is offering an array of early bird discounts. We wouldn’t normally cover Kickstarter products, but the Oval 1.0 was well-received, so we’d back the second generation to actually make it to market.
But here’s the problem. You can bag one Oval sensor for $99, down from the full price of $269 (yes, for a sensor), but you also need a subscription of $3.99 a month to use the app. This is waived for the first year, but still, so much for the ubiquity of cheap sensors in the IoT age.
Nonetheless, it’s pretty unique, and will appeal to those with smart home hubs, who want to get their hands dirty. Shipping ETA is November.