HomeHome AutomationA hub that Matters: SwitchBot Hub 2

A hub that Matters: SwitchBot Hub 2

More than a hub!

Would you believe me if I said that long ago, I was against hubs in principle? The idea of a device that’s sole existence was to relay controls from one device to another was rather absurd. I’ve changed my mind since then, and SwitchBot has changed my mind about other things. SwitchBot Hub 2 may have a similar and profound impact. Forgive me for the “Matter” pun, that’s just a fraction of the things to discuss.

SwitchBot Hub 2 – never useless

It’s not the first time SwitchBot has innovated. A lot of folks thought the introduction of tiny robots that press buttons for you was silly. Likely the same people dismissed Bluetooth as the protocol of choice for automation. Over and over again, SwitchBot loves to prove wrong – and hints of that were already shown with the release of the original SwitchBot hub – a device that’s not just a hub.

SwitchBot Hub 2 isn’t just a hub either. It’s not a device, I’d like to hide away as it becomes an integral part of your smart home ecosystem. It’s not a dumb switch for relaying messages and commands, but a practical gadget you can’t live without.

Fully Featured

Just like the previous hub, SwitchBot Hub 2 joins cloud controls with local Bluetooth protocol to enable remote access to your smart home. And just like before it’s not the only function of the hub.

Once powered, SwitchBot Hub 2 reveals a simple but practical interface which brings temperature and humidity readouts to its display. I like that the actual probe is embedded into the USB-C cable – reducing the impact of the heat coming from the electronics.

Also visible on the display are two programmable buttons. Apart from toggling the display, the buttons can be linked to any device or action stored in the SwitchBot ecosystem as a scene. What’s not visible, however, is the inclusion of the light meter (values available in the app only) and IR diode that can send the control signals to infrared devices around it.

You don’t have to hide your SwitchBot Hub 2, just the opposite! Keep it close by, and use it as an active part of your ecosystem. The automation panel allows you to use sensory information as triggers, while the in-hub menu sets the automation associated with each button – simple and powerful.

Bluetooth, Matter… and all that

I love the irony. While introducing SwitchBot and Bluetooth-based automation to my audience, I received strong pushback against Bluetooth as a smart home protocol. Strongly worded comments from people who have never tried Switchbot were dismissed by me based on evidence of use.

The Matter is here, and one of the supporting protocols is Bluetooth LE – the same technology that SwitchBot was using all along. It’s funny how things turned out. SwitchBot will have the easy task of expanding its line of products without fragmenting its ecosystem. Not every ecosystem will have the same benefit.

Enabling Matter support on SwitchBot Hub 2 is as easy as pressing a button and downloading the upgraded firmware. And just like that, the device becomes compatible with Matter and exposes already associated with its gadgets too.

More Matter, more gadgets

Recently reviewed by my SwitchBot Blind Tilt also becomes Matter compatible, with more devices to follow shortly. Bluetooth-connected devices will be supported via SwitchBot Hub 2 while devices that already use WiFi will receive the Matter firmware upgrade to work with Matter without a hub.

I’m left in the dark, as somehow I ended with nothing else that supports Matter. While everything is linked via NodeRED, the switchover isn’t a big deal to me – things will work the same way they used to. What’s exciting – is the new SwitchBot gadget to add to your ecosystem

SwitchBot Outdoor Meter

Do you remember SwitchBot Meter (and Meter Plus)? Now you can add an outdoor version of the same sensor. I had mine living outside for a few weeks and it works great.

SwitchBot Outdoor Meter ($14.99) looks like a keyfob and comes with a small loop which you can use to hang the probe pretty much anywhere. It uses 2 x AAA batteries to power this Bluetooth LE-enabled device. It should last years. It’s well sealed so it can stand weather abuse – so if you rather rely on your personal sensor outside the window than local weather API in NodeRED – now you can without risking damage to your new gadget.

Just like SwitchBot Meter Plus, the device comes with the ability to log and store data for up to 3 months and you can set comfort levels for the temperature and humidity. As SwitchBot Outdoor Meter has no screen, the alerts will be visible only in the app.

As the sensor has been designed for use outdoors, it brings new sets of data too. Apart from temperature and humidity, a new metric is also calculated:

  • Absolute Humidity
  • Dew Point
  • Vapour-pressure deficit

These will come in handy for anyone looking to use the data in various scenarios (greenhouses come to mind).

Shop for Switchbot

Get Switchbot devices in the following stores:

Final thoughts

This year’s releases from SwitchBot are looking exciting, and with their smart vacuum on the horizon, I’m definitely going to pay attention to what they are up to next. SwitchBot Hub 2 will cost £79.99 with discounts available when buying in bulk. As usual, I have a small code to offer to my readers so you never have to pay the full price. Go on, I know you want to! Let me know your comments in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈💵 – See the transparency note for details.

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