The ConnectSense Smart Outlet from Grid Connect is now available for pre-order. What is a Smart Outlet anyway? In the world of Internet-of-Things(IoT)/Machine-to-Machine (M2M), a smart outlet is an electrical outlet (where one plugs in an electrical appliance) that brings remote monitoring and control capabilities across otherwise unconnected appliances. Unconnected appliances such as the fridge, fans, lighting bulbs, the garage door, the television and the home thermostat can not be controlled remotely unless they have built-in M2M connectivity. However, smart outlets which are connected to wireless and Wi-Fi can be used to power on and off all these appliances. By controlling the smart outlet, users are effectively turning on and off their appliances without these end devices having to have their own M2M connectivity.
According to Grid Connect, a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things, including the ConnectSense line of wireless sensors, the Smart Outlet which can be plugged into any standard North American electrical outlet allows the user not only to power on and off their appliances, but also set up rules, notifications and schedules. The smart outlets can be connected to each other, thus enabling two or more commands to work together to build simple rules such as 'turn on the lights when the garage door opens'. The Smart Outlet also features control over groups of devices, all-off capabilities and the ability to check the status of items in one's homes, said Grid Connect. More importantly, the Smart Outlet integrates with Apple HomeKit, which means that it can interoperate with other HomeKit-enabled products from many different manufacturers.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet can be controlled via an iPhone app, other Apple HomeKit-enabled devices and by voice command via Siri, said Grid Connect. For those keen to add an IoT/M2M capability to their homes or offices, the Smart Outlet is priced at $79.95 and comes with a dual plug, a USD charger outlet and Bluetooth low energy. Grid Connect added that it will be rolling out cheaper BLE-only Smart Outlets that will leverage on the original Wi-Fi outlet for connection to the internet and plans to introduce additional BLE smart sensors to monitor temperature, water and doors/windows in due course.