Staples Connect has very passionate users who aren’t afraid to let us know what they want, which we’re very thankful for. You’ve sent us a lot of great feedback, some of which we’ve been able to incorporate into the Staples Connect app. Today, we’re pleased to announce the most-requested feature: Modes.
Many of you already know about Modes and will be delighted to hear this. For those of you who don’t know what Modes are, the easiest way to define them is to describe what they do.
Modes let your home stay in sync with you.
None of us interact with our homes the same way all the time. We adjust the thermostat depending on whether we’re sleeping or awake, home or away, by ourselves or with company.
However, home automation systems sometimes have trouble staying in sync with you. They’re good at controlling devices but they can’t interpret things like humans can. They can tell whether or not to turn lights on based on what hour it is but not whether or not you’re actually at home to need the lights on.
Today, we’re changing that. Staples Connect now has Modes, which let your home react to your life like you react to it.
Let’s say you have an Activity that sends you a notification if your window sensor is opened. If you’re home, the window sensor being open is probably because you opened the window, so the notification isn’t helpful. But if you’re away, the window sensor being open might be concerning and you’d want to know what’s going on around your home, so the notification is critical.
With Modes, you can tell your system to notify you that the window sensor is open when you’re away but not when you’re home. Your home can now react to the same event in different ways, just like you do.
There’s two other things to know about Modes. First, you can tell a Mode to adjust devices when you activate it—for example, to turn on some lights when you activate Home Mode. Second, you can activate a Mode with the app, just like a Manual Activity, or when a device adjusts. Your home can automatically enter Home Mode when you unlock your front door.
Still with us? We know it’s a lot of information all at once, so let’s get some familiarity with it by setting up your Home Mode like we just described.
First, we need to choose which Activities will run in your Mode. You can run a Manual Activity from any Mode but Automatic Activities can be turned on and off for each Mode. If you don’t want that Door/Window Sensor to notify you when you’re home, you can turn its Activity off in Home Mode so that it won’t run. (By default, all Automatic Activities are turned on. If you choose not to use Modes, your home will still run as it did before.)
To choose which Activities will run in our Home Mode:
- Open the app, then tap Modes.
- Tap the right arrow on Home Mode to edit it.
- Tap “Activities are enabled”.
- Choose the Activities that you want to be enabled or disabled in the Mode. To start, we’ll turn off most of the Activities that send us notifications except for our water sensor next to our hot water heater.
- When you’ve enabled the Activities you want, tap Save.
When we’re home, now that we’ve set up the Mode, most of our Notification Activities won’t run but the Activity for our hot water heater sensor will run and notify us if it detects water.
Now, let’s set up the Mode to start when we want it to. We can do this by creating a trigger so that Home Mode automatically starts whenever you unlock your door. You can still trigger Home Mode using your app, just like a Manual Activity, but now our home can change to Home Mode when we arrive home.
To create this trigger:
- On the Home Mode page, tap “Manually and 0 more triggers”, then tap “Add Trigger”.
- Tap “Choose a device to trigger this Mode”, then tap the Front Door Lock, which we’ll use to start our Home Mode.
- We need to get a little more specific, so tap Trigger Reason and choose “A new user code is successfully entered.”
- You can schedule the trigger so that it only runs at certain times of the day but we don’t need that for our trigger. “Any time of day” is fine for us.
- Finally, we need to give our trigger a name. Let’s call ours “Front Door Unlocks.” When you’re done, tap Save.
By now, we’ve told our home which Activities should run when we’re home and told it a situation where it should enter Home Mode. The last thing we want to do is to turn on a couple lights when we arrive home. We’d like our new LG ZigBee Bulbs in the living room to turn on and our Bose SoundTouch 20 Series II to start playing our favorite song.
To turn these lights on when the Mode starts:
- On the Home Mode page, tap “Devices adjust,” then tap Edit List.
- Choose the device you want to adjust, then tap Save.
- Tell each of the devices what you want them to do and adjust their levels.
- When everything looks good, tap Save.
Great! We’ve set up our Home Mode to do everything that we’d do when we arrive home. Now we won’t have to wonder whether something really important is happening or not. Our home is behaving like we would. This is good.
Modes don’t change the way we interact with our homes. They make our homes reflect the way we interact with them. They’re the most powerful feature of Staples Connect, and we’re pleased to introduce them today.
How will you use your Modes?