This time last year, we took a look at how Keen Home was changing up smart home temperature control with their Smart Vent, a smart vent that could replace old vents and help control the temperature in rooms individually. After a number of delays, Keen Home is shipping their smart vents this month, but they won’t be alone. Flair, a company that started up in 2014, is releasing their own smart vent system along with a hub unit to help control them.
While Keen Home seems to be more focused on control, Flair is working toward the loftier goal of automation. Sensors in their vents can detect ambient light, humidity, temperature, pressure, and even how many people are in a given room. Once that information has been taken in, the smart vents can communicate with smart thermostats and the hub unit, called Puck, to adjust the temperature in individual rooms accordingly. Their vents works with central heating units, window units, and mini-splits, so they should work for most homes.
The vent system can also be controlled using the Puck, which has a small e Ink display. Puck can control individual vents in different rooms, but can also be connected to other smart home devices like lights and blinds to control those, as well. There will also be a control app available for both iOS and Android, but one of the main strengths of the Flair system is its simplicity — you should be able to let it run itself, with quick tweaks possible using a few taps on the Puck unit.
Both Puck ($60) and the smart vents ($40 each) are available for preorder now and will ship in the spring. Prices will rise to $90 and $60 respectively after preorders close. The vents will come in 4″ x 8″, 4″ x 10″, 4″ x 12″, 6″ x 8″, 6″ x 10″, and 6″x 12″ sizes. Sounds good so far, but Keen Home does have one thing on these guys — Flair’s vents only come in plain, unadorned white for now, while Keen Home has a number of decorative faceplates to choose from. How much does having an aesthetically pleasing vent matter? We’ll find out soon.
UPDATE 01/21/2016: Keen Home’s Smart Vent can automatically adjust temperature according to lifestyle patterns picked up by its sensors. This post suggested otherwise. We regret the error.