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The ultimate goal with any smart home setup is simple. You want your home to work for you instead of you against it. There are plenty of devices that can help to make this happen, but none can help take your smart home automation to the next level quite like a presence sensor.

By knowing where you are in your home, you make it possible for your house to operate automatically based merely on where you are and when. The FP2 from Aqara is the next step in occupancy sensing, with a whole host of impressive features. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Aqara FP2?

Aqara Presence Sensor FP2
Provided by sponsored client (Aqara)
Aqara FP2

The Aqara FP2 is an mmWave presence sensor. It is capable of multiple-person detection, fall detection, and is easy to install.

The Aqara FP2 is a millimeter wave radar sensor that is capable of detecting minute movements and tracking real-time locations of each person within the room it is installed in. Moreover, it is compatible with most popular smart home ecosystems including Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit and even Home Assistant, which lets it seamlessly integrate into the smart home setup of your choice.

Millimeter waver presence sensor vs PIR motion sensor

Traditionally, occupancy sensing has relied on Passive InfraRed (PIR) sensors in order to detect where you are in a space, but there are several problems that arise with this method of occupancy detection.

PIR sensors struggle to detect small changes and movements that commonly arise while sitting or lying still, and sometimes you have the lights turned off when you’re reading a book because the PIR sensor cannot “see” you when you’re not moving. And you have to wave your hand to turn on the lights again, which is far from the smart home experience that you dream of.

Moreover, PIR motion sensors have difficulties in detecting multiple people and the respective locations of each within the room. For example, the PIR sensors detect whether your living room is occupied or not, but they are not able to distinguish whether there are one or two persons in the room, let alone to pinpoint the exact location of each person.

mmWave is a new method of presence sensing that alleviates these problems and many others such as false positives and more.

What makes the Aqara FP2 great?

mmWave presence sensors are largely superior to their PIR alternatives, but the Aqara FP2 is more than just an mmWave presence sensor. The Aqara FP2 is an automation powerhouse and is a great way to take your smart home setup to the next level.

Ultra-high precision

The Aqara FP2 comes with extremely precise sensors, which means that it will keep track of where you are even if you’re making the smallest of movements. This prevents problems such as your lights automatically turning off while you’re still in bed or relaxing on the sofa.

There’s no compromise of privacy here, which is comforting, as the Aqara FP2 doesn’t record anything. It merely captures changes in movement.

It does this while filtering out false positives such as pets, curtains, and fans, as well, so it’s suitable for any environment.

Zone Positioning

On top of this, the Aqara FP2 allows you to set up to 30 distinct zones for zone positioning. Zone positioning allows you to define various zones within the same room in order to create better automation patterns based on how you actually use the room.

For example, this lets you set create a distinct zone for your cooking and dining area, your bar area, or your sofa. Different zones can trigger different automation, from something as simple as different lights following you around the room, to more complicated automations.

Multi-person detection

Woman on couch watching TV while man works in chair on laptop in living room with dog walking in background
Source: Aqara

In addition, the Aqara FP2 is capable of detecting multiple people simultaneously. The sensors are capable of detecting and tracking up to five people at once. This means that multiple family members can trigger different automations at the same time. For example, you can set your kitchen lights to turn on as a parent is cooking, while the entertainment scene is activated simultaneously as the kids enjoy cartoons on the sofa.

Fall Detection

Another great way that this can be used is with the Aqara FP2’s in-built fall detection. This feature uses AI in order to detect when somebody has fallen over in the Aqara FP2’s radius.

For the elderly or disabled, this is a great feature, as it allows safety and peace of mind without the need to install a camera or wear an external device.

The Aqara FP2 can be configured to give out local and/or remote alerts when it detects a fall, such as a siren or a mobile push notification.

Built-in light sensor

Woman in bed with Aqara FP2 installed on wall above
Source: Aqara

In the same vein, the Aqara FP2 comes with a built-in light sensor, which allows it to detect lights independently from your smart home hub. This allows for smarter light automation, such as lights that turn on and follow you around as you move through the house.

OTA Updates

The Aqara FP2 isn’t just great now, either. The occupancy sensor is slated to receive additional updates in the future, which means that the Aqara FP2 will grow alongside you.

These planned updates include a wide range of great features such as posture detection, Matter support, sleep monitoring, and more.​​​​​

Widely compatible

The Aqara FP2 is made by Aqara, and so it naturally comes with support for the Aqara ecosystem. That doesn’t mean that you’re locked into just one option, however. The Aqara FP2 is widely compatible with major smart home systems, and can be connected to smart home accessories from other brands.

If your smart home is already using Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit or Home Assistant system, then the Aqara FP2 will work seamlessly with your setup with no extra work on your end. It works with these platforms by treating itself as multiple motion sensors.

Ideal for any environment

Hot environments can be a problem for PIR presence sensors, but fortunately, for the Aqara FP2, this is a non-issue thanks to its use of mmWave sensors.

The Aqara FP2 takes this one step further, however. When used with a USB-A power adapter, the Aqara FP2 is capable of functioning in humid environments such as bathrooms or shaded outdoor areas without any problems.

How to install the Aqara FP2 anywhere

Aqara FP2 Installed on wall in foreground, room behind
Source: Aqara

Setting up a presence sensor can be difficult, but the Aqara FP2 works to make the process as accessible, simple, and easy as possible, while still giving plenty of options and power to those who want it.

The Aqara FP2 can be installed almost anywhere. This includes wall-mounting, ceiling-mounting, and even corner-mounting. It’s important to note zone positioning and multi-person tracking requires the sensor to be wall-mounted or corner-mounted. Both installations, combined with its 120-degree cone of detection, allows the Aqara FP2 to monitor just about anything up to 430 square feet. Alternatively, ceiling-mounting is necessary if you want to use the sensor to detect falls.

Once you’ve installed the physical device, all that’s left is to set up the Aqara FP2 on your phone or tablet.

This means setting up zones, edges, interference sources, and your entrances and exits. Zones are key if you want to make use of all the impressive features available with zone positioning, and require you to break up your room into zones based on how you use them.

To make the FP2 zone positioning more accurate, it’s essential to also set up edge areas and interference sources. Edges, as the name implies, help the sensor to understand where the room ends.

Interference sources help the Aqara FP2 to know what stationary objects to ignore such as plants and curtains. While the FP2 can automatically detect the difference between objects such as pets and people, this ensures maximum accuracy for stationary objects.

Room entrances and exits are used by the sensor to more accurately detect how many

people are in a room by monitoring when they come and go.

Altogether, this process is made simple by the Aqara companion app, and sped up further thanks to the templates that it provides as well.

Automate your home like never before

When it comes to smart home automation, the Aqara FP2 is a real game changer. It provides contextual info like the precise locations of each person to your smart home, making it the natural next step in any smart home setup.

If you’ve already got a motion sensor, then the Aqara FP2 is a great choice for an upgrade, and there’s never been a better time to get one.

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