CES 2017 Interview with ConnectSense
I wish I could put the experience of CES into words. If you have never been there, you cannot truly fathom the 3800 vendors, the hundreds of thousands of people and the spread across the millions of square feet of show floor. This year at CES 2017, there were a few common threads: VR, AR, robotics and last but not least the Smart Home. It seemed everything was vying to be connected, to have Apple Home Kit or Alexa integration. I have tested many varieties of smart switches, smart buttons, smart outlets, etc. One company that surprised me last year was ConnectSense. This trend was continued this year.
I had the pleasure of talking with Adam Justice, with ConnectSense, at CES 2016. I was able to learn about the Grid Connect ConnectSense Smart Outlet and about the water/temperature and humidity sensors. The sensors have not yet been available for purchase but the outlet was available throughout 2016. This outlet works wonderfully with Apple HomeKit and provides 2 independently controllable outlets and in October of 2016, power monitoring became available. You can turn on/off the outlet by pressing a button, using the application or through Siri voice control and charge a USB powered device from the side of the device. Setup of the device is incredibly easy and the device is very responsive.
When it comes to a smart home, distance can be an enemy. You may want a smart outlet in a given room or at a given outlet, only to find that it does not connect securely to WiFi or to Bluetooth. Bluetooth is great for short distances and uses low energy. However, the major limitation of the technology is the 10 meter/30 foot range. This year at CES 2017, ConnectSense debuted their Bluetooth range extender. This tech allows your other ConnectSense devices to connect to the internet and ultimately to your smart home. Plug in the extender, wherever you may have devices and enjoy the ability to connect to them through the internet, anywhere.
The role of the device is to serve as a local hub. Some devices require connection through an iPad or AppleTV, which must remain in the home to access the devices remotely. The range extender will obviate the need to leave your iPad at home. Now you can take your iPad with you and utilize this amazing $40 device to interconnect your home appliances. Adam Justice details remote access to previously local Bluetooth locks as an example of the power of a device like this one. In addition to the release of the range extender in May, ConnectSense has a few other announcements worth noting.
This year, the price of the Grid Connect ConnectSense smart outlet has dropped from $79 to $59, providing more features for a better price. Additionally, the previously announced water, freeze, humidity and temperature sensors will be shipping q 2. It is amazing to have sensors. However, if you are not aware of their alert, they do not provide you much benefit. I look forward to combining the water, temperature and humidity sensors to my Grid Connect outlet family. Watch for the devices later this year.
Originally published at macsources.com on January 17, 2017.