Of all the “smart” devices out there, the most useful one is the one that can turn a light on or off. Sounds simple, so why do company’s persist in making such a simple use reliant on the addition of a “hub” that both adds cost as well as complexity? ConnectSense doesn’t play that game, which is why their Smart Outlet is going to be a success.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is a “smart plug” so obviously it plugs into a grounded (3-prong) wall outlet; covering both the outlet being used as well as the one above it. So now you’ve an off white box that you can plug a lamp or other device into —providing that device can be switched on and off and that’s it. Being that there’s two outlets on the ConnectSense, that means two devices can be plugged in. So far, so simple. So if it’s just a kind of “extension outlet,” why would anyone pay $59.95 retail for it? Even if you include an always live USB socket on the side for plugging in a phone or tablet?
That’s because the real value of the ConnectSense Smart Outlet comes into play when you press that button on the side corresponding to one of the two outlets. Then a blue illumination comes on as a WiFi transmitter begins searching for your home network. Meanwhile you’ve downloaded the ConnectSense app so that you can coordinate the connection between home network and outlet. Finishing this means the outlet is now controllable from the app — no hub required. And since it works through the Internet as well, this gives you near-immediate control over the outlet(s) no matter where you might be.
The strength of the ConnectSense may come from its not needing a hub, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work with one. Specifically if that “hub” is an Apple TV. The outlet is HomeKit compatible, so it can be made more intelligent” through the addition of working via the AppleTV. Think of it as an upgrade if desired.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet works only with Apple iOS devices — enabling Siri assistant control and custom settings rather than just a simple On/Off — and so that leaves Android users out. But with that caveat in mind, for those wanting just a simple means for controlling a light or other on/off device, this could be the first “smart” outlet that’s worth getting hold of.