ConnectSense Launches Second-Generation HomeKit-Enabled Smart Outlet

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    ConnectSense, one of the first companies to introduce a HomeKit-enabled smart plug, today announced the launch of the Smart Outlet 2, its second-generation HomeKit product.

    Like the first Smart Outlet from ConnectSense, the Smart Outlet 2 features two separately controlled outlets that replace a standard set of sockets along with a 2.4A USB port for charging iPhones and iPads.


    The Smart Outlet 2 connects to WiFi, so no hub is required. In addition to HomeKit, it also works with Amazon and Google smart home systems.

    Each one of the Smart Outlets can be used to control a separate appliance or device, adding on/off functionality through the ConnectSense app, the Home app, and Siri voice commands. With the ConnectSense app, the Smart Outlet 2 also provides details on power consumption and lets you know how long a device has been plugged in.

    Through HomeKit, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 can be added to scenes alongside other HomeKit products and automations can be created to have devices and appliances come on at a specific time.

    ConnectSense's Smart Outlet 2 can be purchased from the ConnectSense website and from for $59 starting today.

    Article Link: ConnectSense Launches Second-Generation HomeKit-Enabled Smart Outlet
  2. orbital~debris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    England, UK, Europe
    All I see are shocked faces [shocked face emoji].
  3. Rychiar macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2006
    Waterbury, CT
    you can buy a HomeKit powerstrip with 3 plugs and 3 usb for less....
  4. RowellE macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2012
    Link, please? I need one for my tree!
  5. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Besides lamps and tree lights, I can’t really think of anything I’d use a smart plug on. I guess it could work with TVs, but the TVs in my house are hooked up to a receiver and speaker system so it wouldn’t work out.
  6. max.ine macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2016
    the Internet of Things has long past reached the point of self parody
  7. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    Indeed, my exact thoughts. I'd be interested to hear how real folks are using smart plugs and such. Even using the plug for lights could be awkward if your speaker was not in the same room, and who wants to lift and speak into a phone to simply switch a light on? TV's and AV systems are already on universal remotes, outside lights on motion detectors, etc. It all sounds cool, I just can't see where they would really enhance daily living unless you had a speaker input device in every room.
    So, how are you folks using them?

    ETA: Yes, I realize there is a great place for enabling disabled folks to live more independently. Great uses for that scenario, of course.
  8. MrTemple macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Canadian Pacific North Wilderness
    Smart plugs aren’t just for voice-assistant activation. They are truly powerful (ha!) when you program them or tie them to a motion sensor.
  9. amyers, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018

    amyers macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2012
    One of my most used commands and automations is to turn on/off a candle warmer. Also, I already had a kinda old coffee pot that I didn't love using because I'd forget to switch it off but it was a gift and it made great coffee. I know I could have got a new pot but this one was a gift so I get a plug instead and now I can check to home app to make sure its off when I'm at work and remember.

    If I really wanted to I could probably automate it to turn on every morning and I could wake up to fresh coffee, making this late 1990s coffee pot "smart". But I'm kinda lazy and that requires preparations every night. What really needs to be made (if not already done) is a coffee pot that discards and refills the grinds and water on its own. That's the kind of home automation I look forward to.
  10. lederermc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    It would be nice if their web site actually worked.
  11. RC Mike macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2015
    That's one of the ways I use them. I've got a water fountain bowl for my cat, but he gets his ears wet from the fountain when he drinks from it. It's now on a smart switch that's controlled by a motion sensor. Cat walks up, motion sensor trips, power to the fountain turns off. Cat walks away, fountain turns back on.
  12. Treebark macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2010
    Timed events are also important, along with voice and motion sensors. Either set your lights to come on at sunset or a certain time every day so you come home to a lit house. Or random when away to make it look like you are home?

    Geofencing also likely works.

    Along with the Christmas tree and bedside, using a smart plug would be good for:
    • Other types of lights, such as decorative string lights on a deck that are used most of the year
    • WiFi camera that doesn't shut off when you are at home (Logitech Circle 2 I've heard) could be shut off with a smart outlet while you are at home (privacy, bandwidth) and on again when you leave (geofencing, or timed event)
    • Candle warmer
    • Fans, tied to temperature sensors, to cool your pets?
    • Turn on your heating blanket to warm your chair/bed
    • Make sure everything is turned off when you go to bed (set a routine of "hey siri goodnight" where all outlets in a group are off, including potentially dangerous stuff you may have left on (heating iron, ceramic heater, etc.)
    Just some examples for those thinking it is only good for a bedside light.
  13. Rychiar macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2006
    Waterbury, CT
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2018 ---
    I use them for tons of stuff. Multibulb standing lights, bedroom , air conditioners, christmas trees and window lights, my photography studio lights, desklights. Everything is programmed with various automations and shortcuts and geofencing
  14. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    Hey, I'm not here to be a naysayer. Sure, I get it. Folks can likely find or contrive a use for these things. But none of your uses are what I'd call compelling or couldn't already be addressed with more autonomous outlet timers or motion sensors. I think what I find most ironic, is how these devices are being positioned by manufacturers and vendors as time savers or living enhancement devices, yet require magnitudes more effort to set up and manage than current alternatives. Now, in addition to everything else I do in my home, I am going to have to pull out my Python tool kit and add debugging my home automation systems to my potential daily tasks? It's the house equivalent of a work cell phone; "Here is a company cell phone for your convenience. Now that you have one, we expect you to answer it 24/7." Yay progress.
    I think there is definitely a role for wifi enabled systems, I love my Nest and alarm system. But honestly, as far as smart outlets go, I'm still seeing them as a wifi enabled update to "The Clapper". Oh well, I had to become my parents as some point. This is as good a time as any.
  15. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Okay I just had a million dollar idea. Does anyone know how to apply for patents and bring a HomeKit product to market? Imagine if all of these smart outlets and switches were 1/3 the price. Maybe less. That's all I'm gonna say at this point. I'm serious. I need to get this in front of an investor stat.
  16. amjustice macrumors 6502


    Jun 25, 2007
    Naperville, IL
  17. Treebark macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2010
    Not sure by how some of the things could be done with more autonomous outlet timers or motion sensors. Other than turn lights on when I walk into a room, I'm not sure I've ever had a use for motion sensors. If one doesn't already have the older timer outlets and stuff you mentioned, they'd have to buy something. A wifi enabled smart outlet can compete just fine vs a motion sensor or trying to program one of those old-time outlet timers. Going into the app for the outlet, or homekit/alexa/etc, and setting times is pretty easy. Easier than setting up a motion sensor for a lot of this stuff when motion sensors may be triggered when you don't want them to be.

    I think you may be blowing up the troubleshooting of these...perhaps if you have hundreds of wifi gadgets all over the place from different companies, but adding a few of these outlets and say something like Nest or Hue should be pretty straightforward.

    Don't forget to tell your children you walked uphill in the snow both ways to and from school! ;)
  18. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Uses of smart outlets?

    Well, for me it is starting (I have three iDevice outlets arriving via UPS today, coincidentally) with getting a handle on power usage. Ever heard of Kill-a-watt? Great device. You plug it in and plug your device into it, then can get either instantaneous power consumption on the device or overall (since you plugged it in) consumption. They're about $16-20 on Amazon (depends on when you get them). They're great.

    BUT, you have to do a lot of work to do anything with the data it gives, specifically giving a graph of when power is used etc (important when tied to a device like an ailing fridge or an air conditioner). And, of course, you have to cozy up to where the plug is to get any reading at all off it.

    So, I'm replacing the Kill-a-Watt P3 with an iDevice Switch plug ($24 straight from iDevice if you can wait for their slow mailing, or $30 with Prime shipping). With that, I'll get the same data as the KaW, but also be able to get instantaneous readings and graphs of power use over time built in for me. So, a solid upgrade for $6. Plus, when not in use as a fancy power meter, it provides good control and peace of mind (did the space heater get turned off when we went to bed?)

    My second use for this is in our bedroom for lights. The way the switched lights are in our bedroom there is an overhead halogen light/fan kit (ugly light, super-high-power-use, and expensive bulbs; we decided to not replace the bulb when it burned out six months back), and also an "outlet switch" which hits a random outlet across the room. However, if you use the outlet switch you turn the bedside lamp on, come to bed, and have to turn it off on the lamp itself. The next night when you come in, the outlet switch doesn't do anything because the lamp is manually turned off. So, we don't use that "feature" either (essentially, we put a plug-stopper in that switched outlet so we don't accidentally plug something in there and wonder why it isn't working, and live with one fewer outlets in the room). With the iDevice, we can get a wireless wall switch that controls the iDevice plug (Instant Switch they call it) to control the iDevice outlet from the entry way (so that light can be turned on when coming in the room), but also can control the same plug at the light (button on the side of the outlet) or using Siri or Homekit or the app to turn it off at night. Because they are both controlling the same physical switch no matter how the light is turned off it can be turned on again from the other end.

    Yeah, it's about the same functionality as a three-way (or four-way) switch, but we don't have to run four-wire power cables through the walls to get it to the outlet we want it and with the wall switches where we want them. And, of course, we could trigger it with a motion sensor or other trigger instead of the iDevices Instant Switch (the Instant Switch sounds nice because it goes direct to the outlet via Bluetooth LE instead of firing a HomeKit trigger that HomeKit responds to by switching the light on/off).

    But, yes, more complex things like TVs and stereos really can't use a switchable outlet. They mostly need to (or "want to") be plugged in even when "off", and don't necessarily react to the plug getting power by doing what you want them to do. Simple devices like lights and fans and heaters are really the types of use cases where a switchable plug makes sense, and if you're going to have a switchable plug, freeing yourself from a clumsy physical timer interface tethered to the plug is a no-brainer.

    That said, I always always buy Homekit IoT only. HomeKit has a much higher security standard than other hubs. It isn't infallible (no security is), but that combined with putting my IoT devices on their own isolated network alleviates the most pressing security concerns.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2018 ---
    I think he was asking for the link to a 3-outlet power strip with 3 USB ports for less, not a link to the ConnectSense product.
  19. RC Mike macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2015
    While there are people who chose to complicate things, there's simply no need for the average person to do any real work with these systems. You're just not aware of how easy they are to use. With HomeKit, it's become scan the bar code and tell the system where it is in your house and give it a name. Much easier to program than any stand-alone light timer, that's for sure.

    Even SmartThings is easy to use. I've got a ST system that will turn off the water to my house if any of twenty sensors detect a leak. That was super simple to set up. No programming at all--just if a water sensor goes off, turn off the valve. Cost me a lot less to set up than my insurance deductible, and if I ever need it the headaches it will save me are very worth it.

    Swapped out a first-floor switch for my backyard lights with a smart switch. Now I can turn them on when I'm upstairs or outside. Again, super simple and highly useful.

    I'm a luddite with many things, but something so simple and useful as home automation has become? No way would I sit this out.
  20. libertysat macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2010
    I have one IP switch to control my yard light whose analog switch is out in my carport

    Another controls my security camera for those (frequent) times last person out forgets to activate it

    They can be used as a timer to turn devices on and off

    I have these:
  21. makingdots macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2008
    Why would they invest in something that's obviously gonna have low revenue?
    They'll just invest their money elsewhere.
  22. chainmailr macrumors member


    Nov 24, 2018
    California, USA
    Home servers if you need to reboot them from away :D (This is legitimately a use case I encountered.)
    For Christmas decorations, I'd rather just use an old-fashioned manual timer.

    I can see a deployment of many smart power outlets being useful if they collected power usage data. But this doesn't do that, right?
  23. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Smart homes are a fragmented mess. And if I need to choose between HomeKit devices that are far more expensive and rare, or others that support more platforms, I choose the latter. Also, HomeKit has so many bugs and is too unreliable. Apple has a nice ecosystem of its own hardware, but if it remains too closed, they will eventially be passed by Google and Amazon.
  24. szw-mapple fan macrumors 68000

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    One of the things that is really underrated about having a smart plus is that it's not just about voice commands on your phone or smart speaker. You can essentially control anything anywhere from anywhere using the home app, whether it's your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. You also don't have to physically go over to where the device is to check whether they are on/off. For me personally, it's more about the batch controls than the voice commands.
  25. RockJohn macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010

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