With the summer heat creeping in, ceiling fans are bound to be in great demand. But in this age of smart devices, one looks forward to premium hardware which offers optimum comfort in sync with a room's temperature and airflow and an easy way to operate it.
So, an IoT-enabled fan with a Qualcomm chipset, sophisticated temperature and humidity sensors, a remote control (you have to buy it separately) and a mobile app from the homegrown consumer electronics brand Ottomate is, indeed, a cool treat.
The standard version is available in two colours (mild grey and champagne gold), boasts a neat design and comes with an anti-dust coating. The one we reviewed had a 1,250 sweep (blade) size and was installed in less than 20 minutes by an Ottomate technician. The company does the installation free of cost.After the fan was set up, I downloaded the Ottomate app from Google Play Store (this app is only for Android devices), registered on the app using my mobile number, entered location details and turned on the Bluetooth.
The app was quick to detect the fan and connected via Bluetooth. The smart fan uses Qualcomm's latest Bluetooth Low Energy chipset with CSRmesh to ensure secure and seamless connectivity as well as ultra-low power consumption. Interestingly, a software update was already available when I paired the app for the first time and it only took a couple of minutes to upgrade.
The app's home page displays a list of compatible hardware (one can operate multiple devices from a single user account) and a toggled on/off option. There is also a master switch to switch on/off all Ottomate devices added to the app. You can invite users to control the fan, view warranty end date and raise a service request via the app. However, it is not compatible with virtual assistants such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.Unlike traditional fans with five speed levels, there are speed options ranging between 1 and 100 which can be manually controlled.
Plus, there are three pre-set modes - Otto, Breeze and Turbo. Using the built-in digital sensors, the Otto mode adjusts the fan speed as per the ambient room temperature and humidity. The Breeze mode changes the fan's speed cyclically to create a natural breeze effect. With the speed switching between high and low, I found this mode to be slightly distracting and irritating. However, the Turbo mode can come in handy during extreme heat as it allows the fan speed to surge 10 per cent higher than the maximum limit.