Over the last year, I've been wanting to experiment with different smart home pieces of tech. Recently, I bought the Philips Hue Lightbulbs which I installed into my living room. Continuing my experiments, I reached out to the kind folks at Panasonic to ask if I could give their Smart Home range of tech a try.
The Panasonic Smart Home system is a range of devices for your home in order to keep it safe and secure whilst you're away so you don't need to worry about handing neighbours your keys to secure your home for you, which is something I've been wary about doing. Included in the Smart Home system is the unit itself which connects to your router using WiFi, a room motion sensor and one of the window / door sensors.
I unboxed the unit and started to set it up. One thing which I need to point out at this stage is that this unit wasn't new and had been setup before. The instructions provided didn't show anyway of resetting the unit so I could start setup and after some searches online, I found this handy guide. Once reset, I was able to download the Panasonic Smart Home app from the iTunes store for my iPhone. I connected to the Smart Home, input my WiFi settings and then let it do its thing. Connecting the window and room sensors was relatively straight forward. Pairing is all done from the unit by pressing the relevant button on the side along with the button on the sensor.
I connected it to my telephone line so I could try out calling via the Smart Home which was handy and the call quality was great. I also setup telephone calling so if my alarm was triggered whilst I was away it would call me. In order to test this, I armed the unit, waited around a minute then entered my living room and it worked. However, if you're away from home I would recommend sticking with the notification from the app instead but this comes down to personal preference too. The included door / window sensor was tried in two places; on my front door and on one of my living room windows. In both instances, it worked fantastically and gave me a notification that the sensor had been triggered on the app.
I took a trip to Manchester last week and before I left, I armed the Panasonic Smart Home unit even though this could have been done whilst I was away too. Doing this gave me some piece of mind that nothing triggered the sensors in my home although it would have been great to also try the camera, sold separately, to see how that played its part in this security setup.
All in all, the Panasonic Smart Home system is good but there could be some improvements. For instance, I would have liked to connect it to my Philips Hue lightbulbs so when I walked in the room, the lights would come on automatically and switch off if there is no motion detected. The same applies for the door sensor, or alternatively if I had a system such as Nest or Hive from British Gas, it would turn my heating on for me. All of this would be possible through IFTTT of which the Panasonic Smart Home system isn't compatible with although there are many other sensors available on the market which do similar things.
For anyone thinking of securing their home and the added functionality of IFTTT isn't a necessity for them, I'd go ahead and pick one up today. However, if you're like me and want that extra functionality, hold off and see what Panasonic does in the future with this.
This post was written in association with Panasonic