Indian summers are closing in and no matter which part of the country you are living in, it is bound to get either hot, humid, or both, soon. The time is ripe to invest in an air-conditioner (AC). Videocon, at an event in Mumbai, pulled the wraps off what it is calling India’s first range of Wi-Fi enabled ACs, thus bringing us closer to the reality of connected appliances inside our houses.
The new range consists of four split AC models and all of them are 5 star BEE rated. The VSA35.WW1 and the VSA55.RW1 are 1.0-tonne ACs, and cost Rs. 35,990 and Rs. 36,490 respectively. On the other hand, the VSA55.WW1 and the VSA55.RW1 have a capacity of 1.5 tonnes each. These ACs have a retail price of Rs. 41,490 and Rs. 41,990 respectively. Videocon has categorically stated that all these ACs will be available for sale by the end of this week (mid-February).
The range of ACs is packed to its gills with features. Videocon has implemented LCD screens on all these ACs, which is a first. The Indian electronics giant has also created a custom software for the ACs from the ground up. The ACs can be controlled using an Android app available for download from the Google Play store. Akshay Dhoot, who helped spearhead this project, said, “We plan to provide monthly updates for the software with new features based on research and customer inputs.” On being questioned if Videocon is planning on a connected app for iOS, Dhoot stated that the iOS app is almost ready and should hit the App Store in the near future. Additionally, multiple ACs can be controlled using the Android app.
Inside the ACs, is a Precision Energy Meter which helps keep a tab on the usage and energy thereby reducing electricity bills in the long run. Using the Away Mode, which tracks the smartphone’s current GPS location, one can configure the AC to switch off/ on automatically. For example, if you are returning home from office and you are around 5kms away, you can configure the AC to automatically switch on using the Away Mode so that the room is pre-cooled before you reach. Having the AC turn on and off based on pre-configured schedules is also possible. Moreover, the ACs also have an Hourly Weather Feed feature that can track the ambient temperature and set the AC temperature accordingly.
Interestingly, all these features can be accessed from anywhere as long as your smartphone is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network (2G/ 3G/ 4G). At the launch event, Dhoot joked casually, “Your AC can even be accessed from the moon as long as you have the app and your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.