Review

It is Piper a Home Automation device for everybody? The very first domotica mainstream device?

I do not know. I just asked a mother of two on her early forties to make a review. This is the result:

Piper setup

Our Piper arrived last Friday. Usually it is my husband who set up electronics at home, but I was decided to make work this one. I was curious to see whether it was as easy to set up as it promises. And it was. In fact the quick start guide has basically 3 steps. No complicated manuals. Plug the batteries. Plug it to the wall with the European plug (the British comes in the box too). It did not turn on at first. I had to plug and unplug a couple of times. I did hit the bottom at the back of the unit and it worked (I must confess I am not sure whether that made it).

Piper Plugs

Piper Plugs

I downloaded the app while Piper did some stuff and followed the instructions on the app. And that was it. I could already see my living room in the app.

Getting the few Z-Wave accessories we had to connect to the Piper instead than to the Vera system was more tricky thought. We started with our Fibaro plug, currently in charge of the light on my fishtank. It took a while to delete it from the Vera z-wave controller before Piper could see it. Once it did, setting it up was extremely easy wih the app. Then we added  our Zwave door detector. Again getting it off the old Z-wave controller took twice the time than connecting it to Piper. So far so good. We could turn on and off the light on the fish tank (and program it) we could see the door open and close.

Piper Manual and unbox

Piper Manual and unbox

Finally we added our EZmotion which we hoped would be able to tell Piper about temperature, movement and lighting in the other side of the house. But even when we were able to add the EZmotion to the Piper, and Piper recognises it as a Z-wave accessory on the app, Piper does not get the data from the EZmotion. So it is basically useless at this stage.

In summary setting it up was extremelly easy. Conecting the plug and the door sensor worked too, but no other motion/temperature/light sensors can be used with Piper right now.

Some final words about the app. It does what is promises and does it neatly. It guides you setting up the Piper and it is intuitive to program the Z-wave accesories it accepts. Home vitals, where you get the evolution of temperature, humidity, noise, light and movement, provide a cool summary of the basic data at home for hte last 48 hours .The flexibility of the video –splitting the view in four, being able to pan, zoom, etc- is great. The four modes pre-sets (at home, away, on holidays, none) are usefull and intuitive to use.
But there are few improvements we would like to see: the home vitals, are available without detail and only for the last 48 hours and without great detail. Being able to access such data for longer period and with greater detail would be great. The app it is only availabe in English. And finally, it takes a long time to reconect –exiting and entering the app can take a full minute until you can actually reach your Piper.

Piper has now become our home security and monitoring system.



About the Author

José Miguel Rubio Varas
Cofounder of Domótica Dainci. Since childhood I wanted to become telecommunications engineer. I got tired of being Engineer Power Point and I decided to undertake. I found my passion in Automation. That automation that is not already expensive or a source of problems, but it is for everyone.