We’ve featured a few QingPing products on our website in the past, like the Temperature & Humidity sensor with an E-Ink display, as well as the more recent QingPing Air Monitor Lite, which features a host of sensors along with an OLED display. Now it would seem the company are preparing for the release of a new combined motion and ambient light sensor to add to their lineup of HomeKit compatible devices.
A listing on FCC.io has revealed the existence of the product, although we were unofficially informed that this was coming anyway. In fact, this product already exists in non-HomeKit form, although the particular model in question only works with Xiaomi’s Mi Home ecosystem.
As the title suggests, this is both a motion sensor and an ambient light sensor, although whether the latter of these two sensors is exposed to HomeKit, we’re not sure. However, given that there’s no option within the company’s own app to set up automations or scenes with their devices, it stands to reason that the light sensor would be exposed for automations in HomeKit, otherwise, it wouldn’t serve any purpose at all other than readings.
the sensor uses a magnetic ball0joint to mount it to a wall, with the joint part sticking to the wall with an included adhesive patch. This arrangement allows the angle of the sensor to be easily adjusted to the appropriate angle, or removed to change the batteries, which, like the recently released Aqara P1, uses two CR2450 coin batteries.
The current non-HomeKit model uses Bluetooth, which brings us to another point. At this stage, the only mention of connectivity in the user manual states that the HomeKit version also uses Bluetooth, but we’ve been reliably informed that the company have indeed been preparing Thread versions of many of their products. Could this be the first of those?
It’s hard to say for sure, given that the FCC listing doesn’t mention the details of the particular chip used, and whether it’s a Thread capable chip, as we’ve seen in the past with the Wemo Stage Scene Controller. We have been unofficially informed that the chip used should be the Nordic nRF52840, which is capable of being updated to use Thread. The wemo wireless switch was billed as ‘Thread Ready’ when it was first released, but it took a further ten months for the company to issue the required firmware update to enable Thread functionality. This could be the case with the QingPing offering.
What’s also interesting is that whilst the company have in the past released the HomeKit version of the aforementioned temperature sensor with the letter H as a suffix to distinguish it from the Mi Home version (using the M suffix), this particular sensor uses….yes, you guessed it, the letter ‘T’ – could this stand for ‘Thread’? It may seem a reach of course, but if it were just a Bluetooth enabled HomeKit device, why not stick with ‘H’. Possibly the more pertinent question might be, why would a company still be releasing Bluetooth devices, when Thread is already becoming established as the much-needed replacement for Bluetooth.
Hopefully, we’ll know the answer soon when this and many other sensors from the likes of Onvis and Aqara start releasing their Thread-enabled devices.