IKEA's new motion sensors may play nice with Google Home and Apple HomeKit

Smart Home Apps on Smartphone
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Two recently discovered FCC (Federal Communications Commission) filings indicate furniture-brand IKEA is currently developing a contact and motion sensor for smart homes.

To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of information in these documents, but there is enough to paint a picture. First, you have the Parasoll Open/Close Sensor consisting of a large main unit running on a single AAA battery and what may be a magnetic key fob for detection. Contact sensors are typically installed on doors as well as windows to alert homeowners whenever either one is left open. They're also flexible enough to work in other places around the house like the garage or on a mailbox. What’s noteworthy about the Parasoll is it’s slated to run on the Zigbee communications protocol.

Zigbee, for those who don’t know, has the ability to broadcast data up to 100 meters (around 330 feet) indoors without demanding a lot of electricity to do so. However, it is considerably slower than a typical Wi-Fi connection.

Potential widespread support

As for the second device, it’s called the Vallhorn Motion Sensor. There’s very little info pertaining to the Vallhorn although we do know it’ll measure around 70.45W x 70.46L mm (about 2.77 inches on both sides). It’s unknown if this sensor will run on a AAA battery. But considering the fact other IKEA smart home gadgets run on the same power source, it’s probably safe to assume the Vallhorn will require the battery. The same goes for Zigbee. The filings don’t mention anything about the protocol, but considering the fact it’s being developed alongside the Parasoll, it most likely will support the standard.

It does appear interested users will need to purchase IKEA’s DIRIGERA hub if they want to use either of these sensors. The gadget is mentioned by name in Vallhorn’s testing document. Having the DIRIGERA for testing purposes is an interesting choice as it’s compatible with Amazon, Google, and Apple smart home ecosystems. This could mean both devices may work in both Google Home and Apple HomeKit environments alike.

However, at the end of the day, we don’t know for sure. IKEA is developing the sensors in collaboration with IoT (internet of things) manufacturer Leedarson. Everything is still in the early stages so things may look different at launch. Regardless of the final products, it is good to see IKEA expanding its smart home lineup.

If you’re looking for other ways to upgrade your house, check out TechRadar’s recently updated guide on the best smart home devices for 2023

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.