August 3, 2018

Orvibo Magic Cube – Review

Description:

Orvibo Magic Cube is a one stop solution that integrates all IR based devices using smart phone. This Wi-Fi enabled 360o IR signaling device empowers users to control all their home appliances remotely.

Specification:

  • Physical Appearance – Black & silver cube
  • Weight – 102g±3g
  • Material of Housing – PC/ABS/TPU
  • Material of USB Cable – TPE/Copper wire
  • Input Power – 5V, 1A
  • Power Interface Micro – USB
  • Standby Power Consumption – <0.5W
  • Radio Frequency – 2.412-2.484GHz
  • Infrared Frequency – 20~60KHz
  • Infrared Remote Distance – 8m+
  • Infrared Remote Angle – 360° 

 

Installation:

DIY based setup procedure is very easy and intuitive for any smart phone user to install this device:

Step 1: Go to Google Play Store or Apple’s App store on your smart phone and download the “HomeMate” app. Keep the device close to your smart phone.

Step 2: Then connect the Magic Cube to the power outlet and turn the switch ON. The Magic Cube starts showing a red light. Press the cube on top for 2-3 seconds and you can see the red light flashing fast. This means that the Magic Cube is in Configuration mode.

Step 3: Then open the HomeMate app and select Magic Cube in “Remote” series as below and click next. Select location.

Step 4: Now go to your Wi-Fi Settings and select “HomeMate-AP” network and connect to your Wi-Fi and wait for a few seconds. The Magic cube gets a solid Blue light which means the Magic cube is configured successfully.

Step 5: Press the Magic Cube icon on the screen and choose the devices. Select the “Add Remote Control” icon and next add the TV icon.

Step 6:. Two options will be shown as below. Selecting the “Match Remote Control” according to brands is a better option. The latter requires some time and patience. One may try to explore both options and choose one.

 

Step 7: The remote appears as below (screenshot 1). The various devices that can be connected are shown in Screenshot 2 below.

The 3-dots in Screenshot 1 is the menu and opens up to a lot of options which will not be found in even the TV remote.

A few Menu options as shown below:

Step 8: Similarly for Aircon, the Magic Cube can be used to control without remote.

Creating a scene with Magic Cube:

Want to control your IR devices with just a single click? You can create a scene with Magic Cube and set your desired output with just a single set-up. See how. In the below case, a scene is set-up and the mentioned activities are done at once.

Turn the TV on + Change to channel “7” after 2 secs + Turn the AC on with temperature 26o C

Follow the steps:

Step 1: In the HomeMate app select Scenes and click the “+” sign to create a scene. Select a background and a name for the scene and add the execution task.

Step 2: Select the remote controls and continue to add the tasks as per your requirement.

Creating a scene saves a lot of time and makes life super easy.

Review:

Orvibo Magic Cube offers firsthand experience of using IoT applications. This device virtually cuts distance by enabling you to remotely operate your home appliances even when you are away from home.

How it looks?

The device is compact (~23 in) and stylish with black and grey metallic matt finish that will complement your electronic devices on display. It would rather appear like a classy BOSE speaker cube but doing a different magic!

What it does?

Not literally a magic but when it empowers users with its smart functionality, it does appear like magic. Sitting quietly on a table, it can control almost all IR remote controlled appliances in your home that are within 7 meters with the Magic cube. This is achieved using its scattering cone infrared signaling design that provides 360 degrees coverage. This IoT device executes instructions through your smart phone from anywhere and when you are at home you will not be fiddling with a TV remote, DVD player remote, Speaker remote, and an Aircon remote while watching your favorite TV program. You need not search for them, or hide them from your children, or worry about replacing batteries.

Of course, there are remote control apps that provide similar functionality, but this device can operate your IR devices even when you are not at home. Also, it supports voice-control and is compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home

How is it smart?

The ‘Home Mate’ app, which brings this magic cube to your smart phone, has the remote control templates of almost 8000 home appliance brands. In case there is no matching template, there is an option for even copying your remote control and make your own custom template.

This device is not just for emulating “One-in-all” remote control, but also stacked with add-on functions such as setting a scene or scheduling specific tasks to automate the IR device operations which can even be triggered based on preset conditions such as:

Schedule Tasks: This app can be used to schedule Aircon power to every 2 hours with 1 hour break. During the Aircon break, the app will switch on the fan, thereby bringing down cost and energy.

One Touch Button: You can automate the remote control tasks with one touch button. If your routine is to switch on your Aircon, set temperature at 21o, switch on TV and set-top box, select channel 5; and after 30 minutes change Aircon temperature to 25o and change TV channel to 7. You can program all these tasks and save it under a scene name, which can then be activated with one touch of a button. You can program as many scenes as you wish to make your life not only stress free but also remote-control free.

Limitation:

This device is constrained with the drawbacks of IR such as limited range and physical obstructions. However, since the device is very cheap, buying a few to overcome this is definitely feasible.

Verdict:

A product like this which empowers human life with innovative IoT technology at a very low price, makes it a MUST BUY. Not surprisingly, it’s also a recipient of iF Design Award for Innovation 2017. Of course, the savings on utility bills and batteries will not take a lot of time to break-even and start giving your return on investment.

orvibo-magiccube-userguide