SwitchBot has announced the Curtain 3, a smart curtain controller it says will be quieter than the Curtain 2, and twice as strong. The company also claims a new, improved (and separately available) solar panel will offer “true unlimited battery power,” something the previous panel didn’t quite achieve. The Curtain 3 and the SwitchBot Solar Panel 3 will retail for $89.99 (£89.99 / €89.99) and $25.99 (£25.99 / €25.99), respectively, when they release on August 25th.
The Curtain 3 is, as the name suggests, the third iteration of the company’s smart curtain controller. It can now pull up to 36 pounds (16kg), according to the company, which is more than double the Curtain 2’s 17lb weight limit. Like the Curtain 2, the new curtain controller uses Bluetooth Low Energy, giving it a range of up to 80m (262ft), assuming a direct line of sight.
SwitchBot’s specs say its new controller hums at about 45dB from 1m away (roughly as loud as a suburban neighborhood at night), while its new 5mm-per-second QuietDrift Mode will drop it to 25dB, which is about as loud as a human whisper. Outwardly, the new design is similar to previous models, but it’s longer (by 30mm) and skinnier now than the Curtain 2. The company says it’s compatible with 99 percent “of curtain tracks found around the world.” Like the Curtain 2, it can be bought in rod rail, U rail, and I rail configurations.
SwitchBot says its new $25.99 SwitchBot Solar Panel 3 has “over twice the charging efficiency,” and will only need three hours in direct sun, “where clear shadows can be formed,” to effectively eliminate the need to charge the Curtain 3. Battery life on its own hasn’t improved though — SwitchBot still expects the Curtain 3, like the previous model, to last for up to 8 months on a full charge.
Earlier this year, SwitchBot introduced its new $70 SwitchBot Hub 2, which serves as a Matter bridge and therefore adds Apple Home compatibility to the Curtain 3 (and its other Bluetooth devices, like the Curtain 2). Without the updated hub, you’re stuck with Samsung SmartThings, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa — though the company also supports Apple Shortcuts, which you can trigger with Siri.
If you haven’t heard of SwitchBot, it’s known for its clever, easy-to-install smart home retrofits, like its $99 smart lock that isn’t a smart door lock at all, but a Bluetooth-connected motor that attaches to your door with a plastic piece that over the thumb turn of your deadbolt. It also makes a button-pressing robot that can toggle paddle switches (amusingly, the company shows a Hue smart switch as one it’s compatible with) or press other buttons, say to start your coffee maker.