Aqara is back with another great release ahead of the Christmas season, and while it’s not fully compatible HomeKit, because it’s tightly integrated with the entire Aqara ecosystem, it’s something I want to look at from a HomeKit perspective. Let’s take a look at the brand new Aqara Smart Pet Feeder.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
The Smart Pet Feeder C1 builds upon the Zigbee 3.0 protocol, enabling users to extend their connected home experience to pet care. The schedule ensures that pets are fed on time, but pet owners can feed their animals remotely from the mobile app when they’re away or at work.
The Aqara Home app allows users to create a customizable pet feeding scene—a scenario in which they can ask their favorite assistant (Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant) to release new food.
The smart pet feeder’s ability to connect with other smart home devices makes it a great addition to any connected home, whether you use the Aqara Home app or IFTTT integration. The Pet Feeder can be connected with an Aqara indoor camera that will start recording when food is dispensed do can keep an eye on your pets’ eating habits even when they’re not home.
Using an Aqara Motion Sensor, it’s possible to use a motion sensor to detect whether the pet has approached the feeder after the food is released. If the pet hasn’t eaten, the next scheduled feeding will be held. With a feeding plan option inside the app, you can easily add and delete portions of food to match the recommended amount for your pet.
The Aqara Pet Feeder has a 4-liter food tank that holds around 3.7 pounds of typical pet food. It’s powered by a USB-A port and also includes an optional battery backup incase the power goes out. The feeding schedules are locally stored on the device, so your pet will get fed even if the internet is down.
How does it work with HomeKit?
As I mentioned, the smart feeder isn’t compatible with HomeKit, but because the Aqara ecosystem is so flexible, you can extend it using some other accessories. I am currently using it with the Aqara Cube, Aqara Motion Sensor, and the Aqara Outlet Adaptor.
The Aqara app allows you to build different triggers for the Aqara Cube. It can be configured to release food and turn on an Aqara Outlet Adaptor. Because the outlet adaptor is compatible with HomeKit, you can then trigger scenes and automations from it. Here’s an example of how you might use it:
- Shake the cube to release food and turn on a lamp
- Lamp trigger starts a song on HomePod which is a signal to the dog that food is available (Start playing Who Let the Dogs Out)
Another way you might use the Smart Feeder with HomeKit is with the Aqara Motion Sensor. Because it’s HomeKit compatible, it can be used alongside the smart feeder and HomeKit. Here’s an example of how you might use it:
- Motion sensor detects a pet
- Releases food
- Because the motion sensor is HomeKit compatible, it can turn on a HomeKit light in the room where the pet’s food is location
Wrap up on Aqara Smart Pet Feeder
Overall, it’s been a fun new device for our home. It keeps our pets fed and lets me experiment more with the Aqara ecosystem. I wish it was natively available in HomeKit, but thanks to the flexibility of the rest of Aqara’s product line, there are still some options for HomeKit enthusiasts.
The Aqara Smart Pet Feeder can be purchased from Amazon or directly from Aqara. Aqara is offering a 10% discount on Amazon using the code NAFC1PET. It would make a great Christmas gift for your favorite furry friend.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.