Abid Hussain Barlaskar

What on earth is a smartfan?

Brands like Orient and Ottomate are marketing themselves on the back of this strange proposition.

We like associating ourselves with 'smartness', who doesn't. So when a mundane item that we often take for granted gets the 'smart' prefix, we're undoubtedly going to like associating with that too. Our smart-phones, smart-TVs, smart-cards, smart-watches, smart-toothbrushes etc. are part of our day-to-day lives now. And the latest addition to the long list is the smart-fan. But it naturally begs the question... how smart can a fan really get? All it does is circulate air in a room to keep it, it's not that complicated. But it might be now...

What on earth is a smartfan?

Ottomate Smart Fans ad film

To start with, Ottomate's smartfan doesn't require you to get out of bed to adjust the speed. That's a win right there. The fan is enabled with Bluetooth and quipped with a Qualcomm chipset providing users with quite a bit of seamless control. It uses the company's My Air technology to offer a step-less air-flow mechanism. The Ottomate Smart app, which is currently available for download on Android devices, features a slider option to adjust the fan's speed.

The app (and the 'Smart Mate' remote, a separate accessory) allows users to choose from a manual mode and a range of intuitive pre-set modes - Otto, Breeze, Turbo and a Master Switch mode.

What on earth is a smartfan?

Orient Aeroslim smart fan

Orient states that its Aeroslim, a rather unconventional looking Smartfan, is equipped with IoT (internet of things) controls. It has a slim cylindrical design with telescopic adjustable mounting, a hydrographic finish, an energy-efficient inverter motor (that Orient claims will provide 40 per cent energy savings), and an elegant dimmable under-light. The Aeroslim fan can be controlled via the Orient Smart App (Android and iOS) or via Google Assistant and Alexa voice assist, which means you won't even have to reach for your handset.

What on earth is a smartfan?

Big Ass Fans digital tutorial

Big Ass Fans (that's the actual name) from Lexington, Kentucky, in the US, has its Haiku line of fans with Wi-Fi connectivity. They can also be controlled via voice using Alexa or Google Assistant. These fans have a "Woosh" mode for a gentle breeze and can be programmed to automatically turn on or off when someone enters or leaves the room.

What on earth is a smartfan?

An April Fools Day spoof about atomic fans

The narrative of smartness and fans was taken a notch higher with an April Fools campaign - #FutureKaFan -by Atomberg Technologies, a Mumbai-headquartered smart and efficient motor-based home appliances company. The ad features a first-of-its-kind AI-enabled Atomic Fan. The parody ad film features high-tech fans that can be fitted inside the human brain and can be activated by a simple tap to the head. The idea is to not only cool the brain from the inside but also provide anytime air. The fan's additional features include anger-management and zero-electricity consumption.