If you are thinking about building a smart home with Xiaomi, probably you will start with setting up smart lights. However, there is a problem: What happens, if your smartphone isn’t nearby, and you are not well with either Alexa and Google Assistant, or just you would like a simple, tactile solution to control your smart lighting? Well, Aqara’s magic cube can help you with that.
This Cube is more than just a simple remote control. This is more like a personal remote for your smart home. You can control the lights, even multiple at the same time, the vacuum cleaner, the air purifier, or in the hot summer, you can ask your air conditioner to make more comfortable temperature.
It sounds great, but how does it work?
It’s name is magic cube though, but of course, there is scientific explanation of how it works. It has a six-axys giroscope, and it can recognise six different movements with it, you can:
- rotate 90°
- rotate 180°
- shake it
- rotate it
- knock it twice
- push it
You can set different actions for theese in the Mi Home app
The box is the usual from Xiaomi, it’s clean and white. In the box, you can find (in this case) a chienese user manual, and a tool to open the bottom cover of the cube. Most of the Zigbee devices are works from battery, and there should be a place for the reset and pairing button, so the designers decided to hide it in the bottom of the Magic Cube.
First, you need to tap on the Mi Control Hub card in the Mi Home app. Next, you need to tap on the device tab, and on the bottom, you need to choose the “add subdevice” button. On the list, you need to choose the right cube (Aqara or Xiaomi branded). The Hub will notify that the pairing process is started. After that, you need to press the pairing button for more than 5 seconds. The Control Hub will notify if the pairing process was sucessful. If the cube appears in the Mi Home app, the “magic” can start.
With a color version Yeelight bulb, you can set to change color when you rotate 90°, and change colour temperature, when you rotate 180° for example. You can assign when you push the cube, to change the brightness, and for the rotate event, you can set more accurate colour, colour temperature and brightness control. For the twice tap, you can set on/off toggle, and the shake action is still avalible to control something else.
The Aqara cube can even catch a biscuit thief, but this is not the best way to protect our valuable things.
The range of possibilities is endless, because you can control the most of the Xiaomi smarthome appliances, but you can use it with other smarthome systems like Home Assistant, OpenHAB, Domoticz and more, so the usecases are endless.
The eternal question: Is it worth? Well, it depends on, do you need this? I’m using it about half a year, and i didn’t used it every day, but belongs to the truth, that i like the voice assistants I mentioned earlier. I think it worth it, because in some cases it can be great if you have one.