IoT Design Considerations: Cost

Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer, while discovering new product uses and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. However, these added benefits come with a cost. Connected devices come with a higher manufacturing overhead, but may also be sold with a bigger price tag.

Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections can be added to products for less than $10 in bill of materials costs. Other technologies, such as ZigBee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth, can be added for a lower price, but may require a separate bridge to connect to the Internet and access Cloud services.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

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.

The Grid Connect Outlet announced at CES will give Siri 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 ConnectSense Smart Outlet from Grid Connect will take advantage of Siri to let you command by voice whatever device you plug into this Wi-Fi-enabled outlet.

On display at here at the 2015 International CES this week, the Grid Connect ConnectSense Smart Outlet replaces a standard wall outlet and includes a USB port. It's available for preorder now for $80 (converted, that's about £50 or AU$100) and should start shipping this quarter.

Read more at CNET or download the PDF now.

Grid Connect's ConnectSense Smart Outlets Enable Remote Control of Unconnected Appliances

Grid Connect, in conjunction with the ongoing CES at Las Vegas announced that it will be showcasing its smart outlet, the ConnectSense. In November last year, Grid Connect unveiled its ConnectSense Smart Outlet which enables smart device users to control a wide range of home appliances by turning on and off the power remotely via their mobile apps.

Read more at Policy Charging Control or download the PDF now.

Grid Connect Introduces Wi-Fi Enabled ConnectSense Smart Outlet With Apple HomeKit Integration

ConnectSense Smart Outlet Will Be Showcased at CES 2015

NAPERVILLE, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 5, 2015) - A new connected outlet that integrates with Apple HomeKit is now available for pre-order from Grid Connect. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet features two Internet-connected electrical sockets that enable users to control devices plugged into them using Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

The Smart Outlet plugs into any standard North American electrical outlet, and enables users to automate their home easily by setting up rules, notifications and schedules. The Smart Outlet gives users greater command over their environment by allowing them to control and monitor just about any device that plugs in, including lights, heat, fans, air conditioners, televisions, coffee machines, dishwashers, ovens, washing machines/dryers and many other household devices. For example, parents can make TV viewing or video games off limits until a specified time; homeowners can program the house lights to turn on when the garage door opens; and the washer and dryer can notify homeowners when laundry is complete.

Integration with Apple HomeKit technology provides quick and powerful access to control smart outlets anywhere in the home via Siri. This allows for control over both individual and groups of devices, as well as allowing interaction with other HomeKit-enabled products from many different manufacturers.

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is the first device to include Wi-Fi, which allows the Smart Outlet to communicate with other smart devices and battery-powered sensors. Other features that make the Smart Outlet unique include:

  • Easy Wi-Fi set up and simple programming of rules and notifications.
  • Dual electrical sockets so users can make the most of their available outlets.
  • HomeKit integration so users can group together with other HomeKit-enabled devices, providing an easy, secure way to control your home's lights, doors, thermostats, and more from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  • USB charging port that supports rapid charging.

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is available now for pre-order at www.connectsense.com/preorder, and will ship in the first quarter of 2015. Priced at $79.95, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet offers tremendous value compared to other smart plugs, as it includes a dual plug, a USB charger outlet, HomeKit support to communicate with other sensors. By comparison, the cost of two smart plugs from competitors, as well as additional USB chargers, would easily cost $130 or more.

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet will be showcased at CES 2015, Booth 75626 in the Eureka Park area, January 6-9 in Las Vegas.

About Grid Connect 
Grid Connect (www.GridConnect.com), an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things, including the ConnectSense line of wireless sensors. Grid Connect can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect. ConnectSense can be found at www.ConnectSense.com and on Twitter @connectsense