iDevices expands its HomeKit lineup with smart switches and sockets

HomeKit devices finally began creeping into the market during 2015, and iDevices makes some of the best. Launched Tuesday at CES, the company has expanded its lineup to include four more connected home products that integrate seamlessly with the initial iDevices HomeKit gear, as well as any other HomeKit gizmos, all controllable from the quite-excellent iDevices app for iOS.

First is the iDevices Socket, which screws into an existing lamp or light socket, then lets you screw in a standard lightbulb. Boom, that light is now smart, and can be controlled with Siri on an iPhone or iPad or through any HomeKit app. The Socket even has a ring of color-changing LEDs that you can use as a nightlight, and it supports dimming. Between dimming an adding a little color from the LEDs, you’ll have plenty of possibilities to set the mood.

If your lighting isn’t conducive to the Socket, the iDevices Wall Switch and Dimmer Switch can replace standard light switches, and they also have colored LED nightlights to help you find them on the wall in the dark. Wall-based lightswitches have an advantage because while you can turn the lights on and off with Siri or the app, you can also just press the switch. That’s beyond handy if not everyone in your house is glued to a smartphone 24/7 just to be able to turn the lights on. Both the Wall Switch and Dimmer Switch come in single and three-way flavors.

The iDevices Wall Outlet works about the same as the existing iDevices Switch (which debuted at CES last year), but it’s built into the wall, naturally. HomeKit apps will let you control and schedule mechanical devices plugged into either of the Wall Outlet’s two sockets. Along with the Switch and Outdoor Switch, the Wall Outlet can also track energy usage, letting you know the current wattage draw of whatever you have plugged in, as well as average use per day, and what that’s costing you in electricity.

The iDevices app supports not just the company’s own gear, but other HomeKit products. You can group items together to command them all at once, and set schedules—say, turning on your porch light every day at dusk. HomeKit still doesn’t support everything—it can’t yet sense your arrival by geolocating your phone, for example—but its simple setup and lack of a hub make it an easy way to dip your toe into the Internet of Things.

The iDevices Socket ships in the first quarter of this year, with the Wall Switch and Dimmer Switch following in Q2, and the Wall Outlet in Q3. No prices have been announced at this time.


Susie Ochs

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