Why the ConnectSense Smart Outlet Isn’t Just Like Every Other Smart Outlet

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.

Dual Outlet

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.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

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.

> For more information on the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, click here or download the PDF now.

January 2015 Newsletter - Link Round Up

10 Internet of Things Design Considerations [White Paper] - Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. > Download the White Paper

How the First Apple HomeKit Products Will Work – The first collection of Apple HomeKit-compatible products were quietly announced last week at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, and we saw everything from smart plugs and sensors to garage door openers and locks. There’s nothing too sexy about those types of appliances, but we were able to learn more about how Apple HomeKit and its vision for the smart home will work. > Read more at Mashable

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet Will Give You Command of Your Walls - After months of speculation, we’re finally getting some dirt on which products will work with Apple’s HomeKit once it launches. The Grid Connect ConnectSense Smart Outlet replaces a standard wall outlet and includes a USB port. It’s available for preorder now and should start shipping this quarter. > Read more at CNET

My 2015 Internet of Things Wishlist - The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most hyped technology of 2014 and 2015 promises even more innovative IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology will surface. Building on the growth of IoT in 2014, the IoT will see even more explosive growth and innovation in 2015. Although I have several predictions of what will happen in the IoT world this year, I have one big item on my wish list that involves cellular carriers. > Read more at Embedded Computing Design

Grid Connect’s Biggest Takeaways About the Smart Home Space at CES 2015 – A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it. > Read more at ConnectSense.com

CES 2015: Grid Connect's Biggest Takeaways about the Smart Home Space

A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it. 

Now that it's been a week since we've returned to the office and had some time to reflect, here are some takeaways we gathered from the Smart Home section of the show...

"Home automation was the belle of the ball at CES 2015. There were a lot of new and exciting products.  I feel like 2015 will be the year that home automation comes into focus and goes mainstream.  The winners in this market are going to be those who focus and build best in class devices that interoperate with other companies devices through standards like HomeKit, AllSeen, OIC, Thread and others. The losers in this market will be those that try to do it all themselves and build every device under the sun on their system. In the end, what is good for consumers is good for this market. Companies that keep that in mind will do well."

- Adam Justice, Vice President of Grid Connect and Founder of ConnectSense

"Wow!  As always, the CES was an amazing event. We saw companies in the home automation space introducing products to broaden their product line, while others jumped in where they hadn’t played before.  There seems to be more and more devices every time I check Gizmodo or Mashable. Unfortunately, a lot of them are the same ol’ same ol’…innovation wins with me every time!

The big question is, what company will win the platform war? Are you developing your own ecosystem of devices 'on an island' of their own? Companies need to make sure the applications or the products are upgradable to future standards to take advantage of new features and capabilities. The last thing anyone wants to do is continually replace their devices or systems when new features are enabled."

- John Marchiando, Vice President of Business Development at Grid Connect

"There are a lot of people and companies who want to be involved. Many devices are similar to each other so companies must separate themselves from their competition through the features and benefits of their products. They must also make sure to deliver on their promises about the capabilities of each device. Consumers are going to have to research different companies and their products to make sure they are finding the right devices for their needs and ideally, compatible with other home automation products they have now or will have in the future.

As a consumer, my biggest takeaway was that any product I buy needs to be worth the price tag. If the features and benefits are not up to par, or if it just plain doesn't work, it's not going to be in my house."

- Brittney Borowicz, Marketing Manager at Grid Connect

And on the first time exhibiting at CES...

"As a first timer, the CES show is massive. The investment of the big companies like Intel, Samsung, LG are unbelievable. Our booth was in the Innovation area, which was fun to see all the different types of companies that were doing cool things. Our new Smart Outlet was well received and demoing it with Siri is a cool feature.  We will be back at CES next year, in the Smart Home section of the show."

- Mike Justice, President and CEO of Grid Connect

What was your biggest takeaway about the smart home from CES 2015?

How the first Apple HomeKit products will work

The first collection of Apple HomeKit-compatible products were quietly announced last week at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, and we saw everything from smart plugs and sensors to garage door openers and locks.

There's nothing too sexy about those types of appliances, but we were able to learn more about how Apple HomeKit and its vision for the smart home will work.

Let's take a closer look by narrowing in on one of the new products. Grid Connect's ConnectSense Smart Outlet...

Read more at Mashable or download the PDF now.

ConnectSense Smart Outlet Takes Control Of Your Home’s Outlets CES 2015

Moving through the Consumer Electronics Show is like swimming in a never ending sea of gadgets and goodies, a geek's wet dream! We saw a whole lot at CES and one small local Chicago company showed off their smart outlet called ConnectSense. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet integrates with Apple HomeKit and aims to automate your home through their device and your phone. Android support is also planned for ConnectSense and should be coming soon after release. 

Read more at Techaeris.