8.4

Pros

  • Packaging
  • Attractive device
  • Energy Management
  • Split zone control
  • Potential energy savings

Cons

  • Does not support 5 GHZ bandwidth
  • App may overwhelm non tech savvy. individuals.
  • Tiny Font
  • Hard to find features.
  • Away mode does not know season
  • Did not adjust for daylight savings L
Packaging
Setup
App/User Interface
Cost
Reliability/utility

Personalize your cooling experience with Ambi Climate App-Controlled smart Airconditioner controller.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration website (eia.gov), data from 2015 suggested that airconditioning equipment was present in 87% of homes and accounted for roughly 12% of a family’s annual energy costs. Interestingly, 60% of dwellings utilized central airconditioning, 23% utilized individual room units, and 5% used a combination of both types of HVAC systems. No matter the type of HVAC system employed, the costs were variable. For example, a home in the southeastern USA may spend $525, while one in the far west may spend ~$60, and one in the mixed-zone-middle may spend ~$262. Regardless of the zone that we live in, these costs can become rather sizeable. Combining an App/device combo like the ambi climate my be just the ticket to upgrade the environmental interaction.

The Ambi Climate A.I Enhanced Air Conditioning device arrived in a 6 1/2 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches long by 2 1/4 inches thick retail package.  The visually appealing blue-green color of the slipcover served as a wonderful backdrop for the 4 1/4 inches wide by 3 3/16 inches tall raised, glossy image of the Ambi climate device and the white font.  The top panel had a clear plastic hanging tab and the bottom panel had icons for the IOS App Store, Google Play Store, IFTTT, Ambi climate 2 sticker with SKU and listed the system specifications (WiFi 802.11b/g/n-24, 10.8cm x 4.2cm x 8.1cm dimensions, 110 Gram weight, 100-240V AC power supply, 7 infrared transmitters for AC connections, RGB LED status, requires broadband internet, ioS9 or later/Android 4.1 or later and it should work with nearly any AC with an IR remote/LCD screen).  The back panel provided two prominent images.  The left 2 1/8 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches tall panel showcased the Ambi climate device upon a table, with an air conditioner device faded in the background.  The right 3 9/16 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches tall panel showed three cell phones upon a table.  The phones displayed three different screens and showed a few different features of the device/App: 1. More than temperature: A.I. It also considers humidity, weather and more. 2. Smart Home: Geofencing, remote access, timers, and leading integrations. 3. Auto-Adjusts your AC: Enjoy personalized comfort with energy savings.

The inner cardboard box had a white line drawing of the Ambi device upon the cover and had seven icons below the image. The top/left/bottom and back panels were devoid of writing and the left panel provided a nice descriptive paragraph about the Ambi story.  Removing the lid of the box, I found the attractive 4 1/4 inches long by 1 11/16 inches by 3 1/4 inches tall Ambi Climate device within a stacked cardboard tray.  There were four icons along the top of this panel, which detailed the steps to turn on the device: 1. Plugin the Ambi Climate device, 2. Download the Ambi Climate app, 3. Link to your cellphone and then 4. Enjoy. I removed the outer box and found a smaller rectangular box housing a USB wall adaptor and a 71 1/2 inches long USB-A to USB-Micro cable.  Along the very bottom of the box was a small cardboard envelope housing the sixteen-panel instruction manual. The manual provided a list of packaging contents, and detailed the front LED, along with the micro-USB input port, USB-A output port and reset button on the reverse side.  Once all of the pieces were removed from the box, I plugged the wall adaptor into a standard wall outlet, the USB-A plug into the adaptor and USB-micro plug into the device.  I then navigated to the iOS Apps tore and downloaded the 3* Ambi Climate App.  There were several complaints about user interfaces/fonts/features, Siri shortcuts/widgets, and per Boston Frank “Why I need my current temperature displayed out to 6 decimal points.”  Ches Martin rated the device/App 3-3.5 stars noting limitations to the UI, need for HomeKit Support with 3rd party bridge, need for iPad Optimization and better function layout.  

To use the device, you will need to make sure that the Ambi Climate device has direct line of sight to the IR receiver for the AC unit, rests on a non-fabric covered surface, resides within the range of your WiFI signal, was not too close to a heater/sunlight/AC, and resides close to where you normally rest. With the App downloaded and the device plugged in/properly placed, I tapped Sign Up on the main App page. The App asked me to enter my email, enter/re-enter my password, and then the agree to the Terms of Use. Similar to other App/Smart Device duos, I had to validate the login information through my email. For the next step, I needed to Add an AmbiClimate 2.0 device, to add a new location, and then to name the room. I added location service information, Updated WiFi Settings and then paired the Ambi Climate 2 to my mother-in-law’s Carrier single room AC/Heater. With the device powered on, the front LED should flash orange. When ready, follow the on-screen prompts to navigate to settings, add/select AmbiClimate, and then I returned to the app. I did not experience any difficulty with choosing the correct air conditioner from the list.

Despite the criticisms against the App, I enjoyed the layout of the App. The main panel had seven circular icons, which were labeled Hot, Too Warm, A bit warm, comfy, a bit cold, too cold, and freezing. The humidity and temperature were displayed along the left and along the top panel. To adjust the temperature in the room, you can pick one of the seven icons to let the app know your current state of comfort. Ideally, the more you use the App/device, the more the system learns about your desired settings. Many of the font sizes were on the smaller size but this did not detract from the overall experience. Along the bottom of the App, you can select “Analytics, AC Settings, Device, and Modes.” You can adjust the AC mode type and select between cool/heat/dry, you can adjust the AC temperature, and you can adjust fan settings. If you tap “Device,” you can adjust Device location, Wifi settings, AC pairing, user management, away mode thresholds, change wallpaper, sensor calibration, LED brightness and Beeper Loudness. Under analytics, you can evaluate the history of the room and you can evaluate the deployments, which provided a list of changes with time. Additionally, under “Device,” you can access Timer settings. You can name the timer, set the days, and set the desired comfort level (comfort, temperature, away, off). The comfort setting used the AI, the Away feature could set patterns but the system was not able to know the season that it was in. Unfortunately, this meant that the AC kicked on when it was cool and the head kicked on when it was hot, as it thought the room was too hot/cold.

The App/device provided an interesting way to enhance the interaction with the AC unit in my mother-in-law’s living room. New to the smartphone world, this device was too complicated for her but was on par with other devices that I have tested previously, such as the PIPER NV Security System. The company sent out several emails, labeled Welcome Series, which detailed a variety of aspects of this setup. I did no test the voice assistant features of the device, but the Welcome Serie 2 email dove a little deeper into the IFTTT/automation features. The App will start to learn from you after the third interaction and will adjust the settings to your personal tastes. With so many positives, I would be remiss if I did not mention some of the negatives. First, the system did not utilize the 5GHZ bandwidth. Second, I found it odd that the AI system could not adjust the fan speed. You could select the speed, but the AI system could not alter this speed to better adjust the environmental controls. The App proved easy to use for me but was overwhelming to my mother-in-law. We both liked that the App allowed us to adjust the system based on our feeling of too hot or too cold. Lastly, the user interface, in general, could use a tune-up. The app suffered from tiny font and with features like Fahrenheit and Celsius adjustment buried deep within nested trees. Lastly, the app did not adjust for daylight savings, making the timers less helpful.

I think with some additional App updates, the Ambi Climate A.I. device may be a neat upgrade to a home air conditioner system.

Learn More about Ambi Climate.
Follow Ambi Climate on Facebook and Twitter.

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