Ajax Systems recently introduced new devices with which it plans to strengthen its position in the smart home category. The Ukrainian manufacturer, well known for its security and protection systems, was not seriously involved in home automation systems before. However, with the announcement of the smart air sensor LifeQuality and the smart switch LightSwitch, it nevertheless decided to increase its presence in this niche. In this material, I will tell you in detail about the capabilities of the LifeQuality sensor.

LifeQuality – testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

Some devices of Ajax Systems have long been able to measure the temperature in the room, so it is not surprising that the company decided to develop this possibility to comprehensive monitoring of air quality, humidity level and temperature in the room in a separate device. It created the LifeQuality sensor, which is made in the design of other models of the manufacturer. This is a compact plastic box that can be attached to the wall with both 3M double-sided adhesive strips and self-tapping screws. They come with the device, but you can simply put it on a shelf or windowsill, the mount is not required for use.

LifeQuality – testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

The manufacturer recommends installing the sensor at the height of a person’s respiratory tract, that is, if it is an office, then at the level of a person at a table, and if at home, then at the level of a bed. The size of the room itself does not matter, it does not affect the work of LifeQuality. However, one device is designed for one room, so if there is a need to monitor the CO2 level, humidity, and temperature in more rooms, additional sensors will be needed.

LifeQuality – testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

LifeQuality is mounted on the wall using the SmartBracket panel, which is located on the back of the device’s case and allows it to be removed for cleaning or temporarily moved to another room. The mount is disconnected by turning it counter-clockwise, and I don’t know if it’s because I was turning it the first time, but it took a lot of effort. On the one hand, it is good, the sensor will be firmly held, on the other hand, I hope that the fastening mechanism will become easier to detach over time.

LifeQuality – testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

The LifeQuality case is traditionally available for Ajax Systems in two colors – white and black. Both versions are equipped with a light indicator, which is inscribed in the manufacturer’s logo on the top of the device. The light indication is not duplicated on the side faces, so it is better to install the sensor so that the Ajax Systems logo is visible. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why it will be convenient to hang the device on the wall in a prominent place. But it is not necessary to do so, the indicator is successfully replaced by notifications on a smartphone.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

To operate the device, you will need an Ajax Systems hub of the second generation (Hub 2 – 2G, 3G, Plus) or a hybrid hub Hybrid (2G, 4G). The process of adding LifeQuality to your hub and your account is quite simple. To do this, you need to open the Ajax application, choose to add a new device to it and simply scan the QR code on the sensor body and select or create a room in which it will be located. The whole process takes literally a few minutes. In the future, you can change the LifeQuality settings in the application, which I will return to later. But first, after installation, you should calibrate the device. To do this, you need to open the window and put the sensor itself near it for 20 minutes. In the program, you can watch the countdown until the end of this process.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

There are quite a few relatively inexpensive solutions that allow you to measure the level of CO2, temperature and humidity in a room, but Ajax Systems bet on the medical accuracy of LifeQuality. The manufacturer uses the following sensors in it:

  • Sunrise from the Swedish company Senseair, a non-dispersive infrared sensor that measures the concentration of carbon dioxide with an accuracy of ±(30 + 3%) ppm;
  • SHT40 from the Swiss company Sensirion, a sensor with a self-diagnosis mechanism that provides accuracy up to ±0.2°C for temperature and ±2% for humidity.

Both sensors are intended for professional equipment, Sunrise for medical devices, and SHT40, for industrial ones including. What distinguishes them from cheaper consumer sensors is the ability to show accurate data despite the presence of aerosols, steam, or condensation in the air.

LifeQuality measures temperature, humidity level, and CO2 concentration once a minute. In the future, the company plans to add to the Ajax application the ability to view not only the current readings of the sensor but also their history. The latter should be presented in the form of graphs so that users can see the trend of the selected indicator over the last hour, day, week, month, or year. The Ajax system will store this data on the Ajax Cloud server for up to 2 years.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

The device also has a built-in memory that allows it to store measurement results for up to 72 hours in the event of loss of communication with the hub or radio signal repeater. Once the connection is restored, all values are sent to the Ajax applications and synchronized with the reading graphs. In addition, this approach allows you to use LifeQuality outside the premises and within the range of the signal from the hub. For example, measure the level of CO2, humidity, and temperature of a child in the classroom or take it with you to a co-working space to check how well the ventilation works in it.

The lack of a LifeQuality measurement history view, which Ajax Systems is only planning to add, is not the only thing I lacked in their app. First, it still does not allow you to change the list of added devices, they go exclusively in the order of their joining to the user account.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

Secondly, despite the presence of a light indicator on the sensor itself and notifications on the smartphone, it would be much more convenient to have a widget on Android and iOS that would show information about the CO2 level, temperature and humidity in the room. Unfortunately, this is also not available yet, but I hope that the company will add this possibility. At least the application itself has this information.

Otherwise, it is quite convenient to manage LifeQuality through the Ajax application. The application allows you to set comfortable values for each indicator, when the device falls below or exceeds them, the device will send a notification.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

The notifications themselves are also configurable, the sensor can warn about fluctuations of only one indicator, or all three.

Another important setting in the Ajax application for LifeQuality is the sensitivity of the sensors. For example, if the temperature indicator drops below a comfortable level by 0.1 degrees Celsius, it is unlikely to receive a notification, but a decrease of 1 degree can already be felt. So you can set acceptable fluctuations that will be ignored by the application and not displayed in notifications.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

The LifeQuality LED indicator activates when you touch the device body, it can display the deterioration of only one or all indicators. For temperature and humidity, it’s just flashing green (everything is normal) or yellow (out of range), but for CO2 there are four types of indication:

  • Green – value within the set range;
  • Yellow — 1001-1399 ppm (high level, causes drowsiness);
  • Red — 1400-1999 ppm (possible adverse health effects with prolonged exposure);
  • Violet – more than 2000 ppm (possible increased risk of health damage with prolonged exposure).

In general, the indication on the LifeQuality case is auxiliary, and in general, you can ignore it, because there is more information in the application on the smartphone, plus you can receive notifications.

An important part of LifeQuality as a potential smart home device is the support for automation scripts that can be configured in an Ajax application. For them, you need to have additional devices from Ajax Systems, these can be built-in LightSwitches, relays for power management, and a smart Socket.

LifeQuality - testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

Of course, built-in solutions allow you to unlock the full potential of LifeQuality and automatically manage the climate in your home or office. For example, turn on the air conditioning system when the temperature exceeds a certain level, or the warm floor when it drops. In addition, it is possible to ensure the supply of fresh air when the CO2 level is exceeded by activating the electric drive of the windows.

All this requires some preparation at the repair stage, so a simpler solution would be a smart Socket, which is inserted into a regular socket and is an intermediate circuit between it and the electrical appliance. There are fewer scenarios for such a solution, especially when it comes to built-in appliances, but it is possible to start an electric boiler or heater.

In general, the scripts in the Ajax application for LifeQuality allow you to choose one of the indicators and add a certain action if it is above or below the specified parameter. For example, you can configure a scenario that if the temperature in the room is less than 17 degrees Celsius, then the smart Socket turns on the heater. And if it is above 20 degrees Celsius, then, on the contrary, it turns off. The same can be done with the humidity indicator and the CO2 level.

All scenarios can be triggered automatically when the selected indicator changes, but they can also be activated manually if you use the smart Button. It allows you to run a certain script with a short or long press. In addition, the Button can work as an alarm button.

As you can see, LifeQuality is closely integrated into Ajax Systems’ existing ecosystem of devices, which is good for users who already have the company’s security systems at home, in the office or in the enterprise. However, from the point of view of building a smart home system, the solution is not universal. Starting this year, the industry will actively move to the new Matter standard, which allows smart home devices from different manufacturers to work together and exchange information. This will greatly expand the choice for consumers, they will not have to think about whether the device is compatible with their smart home system.

Ajax Systems has yet to announce support for Matter, and it’s unlikely to be a priority for a company that makes security devices with its own Jeweler and Wings secure data transfer protocols. Therefore, such a solution as LifeQuality does not yet fit into the concept of popular systems, such as Apple Home or Google Home.

However, the advantage for Ajax Systems is that its security systems have become a de facto standard for users looking for a modern but effective solution. And this allows the manufacturer to build on their basis an ecosystem of a smart home or at least the automation of some household tasks. It may sound too optimistic, but in fact, many already have Ajax security systems and this gives the manufacturer a certain head start.

LifeQuality – testing the first steps of Ajax Systems towards a smart home

I see even more potential for the same LifeQuality in office spaces and factories, where there is less demand for smart functions, but the advantage is the accuracy of measurements. I’ll also note that I didn’t pay too much attention to indoor CO2 before, it’s definitely not something you think about all the time when you’re at work, but after using LifeQuality I realized how important it is. Especially in the winter, when you don’t want to open the window very often, but the excess of CO2 greatly affects productivity. So, if one day Mezha gets an office, it is necessary to install such or a similar sensor.