If you are looking for a way to control your smart home without a mobile device then the Brilliant Control might be what you are looking for. The biggest benefit is that it connects with so many other products like Sonos, Nest, Ecobee, Ring, Philips Hue, Bose Soundtouch and more. If you have devices that connect through other systems like SmartThings, then you can control those as well. It has Amazon Alexa voice services built in so you just need to connect your Amazon account and you’re ready to go.
Because I use an Amazon Echo to control my smart home devices, I’ve often thought there needs to be a smaller device that blends into the home better than that Echo does, this product could very well be that device.
I haven’t had a chance to try this product since they are only taking pre-orders right now so I can’t give a full review but I did have some initial thoughts about it.
I am excited to see the video and voice capabilities. It labels itself as an intercom system with the added features of video and a display. The inclusion of the Alexa Voice system is a great feature since it already integrates with some many other systems.
I have a concern with the price. At $150 for a single switch and $200 for the double the average homeowner, like myself, would only put 1, maybe 2, in their home. I have so many switches that it wouldn’t be practical to replace each one. I realize you wouldn’t have to replace each switch, maybe just those switches by doors or those located in major areas of the house but that would still require up to 4-5 switches.
I currently have a $35 light switch that integrates with SmartThings and the Echo so I can still speak to turn on and off lights. Flipping the switch is still an easier action that dragging my finger up and down on a panel so it’s hard to justify the expense.
The second concern I had was with multi-way switching. They state on their website as long as all of the switches are Brilliant Controls you can do the multi-way switching. For me, all the places that I would want to put one, I’d need to get two to make it work since they are multi-way switches, again, the price concern.
I’m am interested to see where this goes and how they integrate with other cameras that are on a smart home system. I would love to walk by and say, “Alexa, show my front door.” and the display would automatically pull up the camera on my Ring that is on my front door.
I’ve often thought about taking my old iPad and hanging it on my wall so I could bring up cameras and control my smart home from a central device, but it doesn’t have the added benefit of Alexa Voice.
Overall, I’m excited to see how this product turns out and would love to try it, I just have to get over the pricing issue.
As a side note, it is interesting that they didn’t start out with Apple’s HomeKit integration. I haven’t been impressed with Apple’s approach and it just shows that the barrier to entry into that system isn’t worth the investment.