CES 2015 put into perspective for us at Grid Connect and ConnectSense just how many companies are fighting to get into the smart home space. Even more specifically, CES put into perspective just how many companies were creating smart outlets/plugs/sockets/etc. to introduce to the marketplace alongside our own ConnectSense Smart Outlet.
The question we got over-and-over again at the Grid Connect booth was, “well, how is your smart outlet different from [so-and-so]’s smart outlet?”
Well, let me tell you…
Apple HomeKit Compatibility
Users can control the ConnectSense Smart Outlet and other HomeKit smart devices through the ConnectSense and other HomeKit compatible apps, as well as with Siri Voice Control. In addition, the Apple HomeKit protocol allows for easy set up and end-to-end encryption for security purposes.
Why it’s different: One of the biggest downfalls in the smart home space right now is that very few smart devices run on the same protocol which makes it impossible for devices on different systems to communicate. By utilizing a standardized protocol such as HomeKit, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet will not only be able to communicate with other ConnectSense products, but with other companies' devices that operate under the Apple HomeKit protocol as well. This allows for one complete smart home solution.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet comes with two outlets to use for your devices. Each of these outlets can be controlled separate from one another while monitoring your power usage. You can control each outlet through the app or manually, as well as set rules from the app about when to turn the outlets on and off. The outlets can even tell you when a device is plugged in or if the outlet is empty.
Why it’s different: Many of the smart outlets you will see have only one outlet. If there are two, it’s an all-or-nothing kind of deal where you can turn both outlets on or both off at the same time, but not separately. In addition, some smart outlets will not monitor your energy usage or tell you if you have something plugged into that outlet.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet uses the Wi-Fi you already have in your home or office.
Why it’s different: Many other smart outlets require additional gateways to connect to the Internet, which costs the user additional money..
USB Charging Port
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet has a 2.4A USB charging port on the side that supports rapid charging for new iPhones and iPads. It also frees up an outlet that would have normally been used to charge a phone or tablet.
Why it’s different: Some of the other smart outlets you will find do not have a USB charging port, which therefore requires the user to use an outlet when charging their phone or tablet. Of the smart outlets that do include a USB charging port, many only carry 1A, which does not support rapid charging for new iPhones or charging of tablets.