One corner of the automation market that remains relatively untouched include window treatments. Those devices that do currently control window treatments either require a full replacement of custom blinds or curtains, or an expensive system that requires professional installation. With the AXIS Gear, you can use your current window treatments (not including Venetian Blinds, mini blinds, and shutters). There’s no need to replace your current shades, which can save you some expense.
Using the AXIS Gear, you can motorize and automate your current shades including Roman shades, vertical blinds, curtains, and roller shades. AXIS currently offers a waitlist for automating Venetian blinds, mini blinds, and shutters. The Gear can control shades of any size and weight up to 9-feet by 9-feet and 10 pounds. Control the device by either your smartphone (iOS and Android) or by the LED touch interface on the Gear. The app can schedule preset scenes, or you can build your own.
A solar panel with an internal lithium-polymer battery powers the Gear, with an AA-battery backup (room for 12 batteries). The battery life spans a full year with no sunlight, and the device also features battery notifications. The packaging includes everything for a DIY installation of the Gear. The AXIS website indicates that it is compatible with Samsung SmartThings, but as of now, there are no details of this available.
Purchasing options include Bluetooth only, Bluetooth and Z-Wave, or Bluetooth and ZigBee. You also have the option of purchasing in packs of one, four, or ten. However, the Gear is currently only available in white and silver. Current early bird pricing is $159 plus shipping, with the next early bird segment to cost $179. Full retail pricing for the Gear is set at $199. Pre-orders placed now are expected to ship in the summer of 2017. The only downside is one Gear controls only one chain or cord.