Hunter Douglas is our present high decide in sensible window shades, and the corporate has simply launched a 3rd era of its PowerView ecosystem that guarantees to make them even higher and simpler to make use of.
PowerView Gen 3 is an entire overhaul of a wise window-covering ecosystem that was launched in 2015 and tweaked in 2017. The excellent modifications vary from the motors within the shades to the app–and the bodily distant management–finish customers encounter each day, whether or not they’re programming scenes or opening the shades within the morning and shutting them at evening.
Hunter Douglas product supervisor Scott Stephenson advised us the corporate targeted on three key areas throughout growth: Simplicity, reliability, and scalability.
A number of the simplification effort was directed at making the PowerView app simpler for customers to make use of, however the technicians putting in the shades in customers’ houses will see the largest benefits. Stephenson stated the corporate targeted on eradicating a number of steps that required installer coaching, however the determination to drop the proprietary communications protocol Hunter Douglas had been utilizing in favor of Bluetooth Low Vitality yields a number of advantages that can accrue to each events.
Due to Bluetooth LE, Stephenson defined, the house owner’s smartphone routinely is aware of which shades are closest in proximity. And because of two-way communication between the shade and the app, finish customers can management the shades utilizing nothing greater than their smartphone—they’ll even program the shades to open and shut on a schedule, due to a clock built-in into the shade motor itself. Go away the PowerView app working within the background, and the app will periodically join to every shade and replace its clock, so scheduled operations happen in sync with one another.
The PowerView-based shade we reviewed in late 2020 was powered by a chargeable battery wand, however switching to Bluetooth LE enabled Hunter Douglas to include a chargeable battery contained in the curler tubes of a number of of its sensible shade fashions. The corporate says the battery ought to final a full yr, and when it must be recharged, the house owner want solely contact a cable to a magnetic contact level and depart it there for a few hours.
Stephenson says adopting Bluetooth made Hunter Douglas’ sensible shades extra dependable, too. “You’ll be able to crank up the [Bluetooth] radio energy and keep inside FCC tips to get higher vary—we’re seeing a 4x enchancment in vary [compared to the company’s proprietary protocol]. Even firmware updates will be achieved over Bluetooth.
Hunter Douglas now gives two variations of its PowerView gateway, and also you’ll want one or the opposite if you wish to management your shades when you’re away from house. Maybe extra importantly, you’ll want a gateway for third-party integrations—together with Alexa and Google Assistant—as a result of these rely upon cloud-to-cloud communication.
The PowerView Gateway connects to your router over Wi-Fi, whereas the PowerView Gateway Professional gives the reliability of hardwired community connection. The Professional mannequin additionally has twin Bluetooth radios, and it helps energy over ethernet (PoE), eliminating the necessity for a separate energy provide for the gateway.