Leave it to an Aussie company to take something we all take for granted; make it smarter and make it work for you. Following on from their existing product development and history, SockITz have taken the humble power point and added not only some pleasing aesthetics and touch control but a stack of smarts that will mean you can add powerpoints to your connected home setup, monitor usage and prevent necessary power usage – oh, and it has USB-C ports as well.
The smart side of these plugs starts with the touch switches which are programmable to respond to either a single tap, tap and hold or double tap to turn on which prevents people brushign by them and accidentally turning devices on that are not currently needed. Having had a power point fail at my house when the rocker broke, I know the hassles of it all and removing the moving part in a simple item can only make its potential life span even longer.
LED Functionality which can display in red, green, blue, purple, pink, white or yellow is another one of the smarts that caught my eye when I was looking at the site. It can be used as a night light in a childs (or adults; scared of the dark?) room; activated and deactivated by a pre-determined touch sequence on the buttons. The LEDs can also be used as an alert in the instance of smoke detectors being activated or even a visual indicator of how much power you’re currently using on that socket. While the information on the programming is a little limited at the moment, it’s quite likely that in this functionality will be expanded.
Keen on the Internet of things? Adding Protocol Brickz to your sockITz is going to be the best solution for you then as this is the pathway to getting your appliances a way to connect to each other so you can control them from mobile devices , monitor power usage and schedule events and actions. Everything from (as shown in the video below) scheduling a power plug to be disabled at a particular time, with the touch switch being locked out to other actions based on location (there’s an app for that right?), time of day or other regular need such as turning lights on when you arrive home or turning the stereo off via app because you left it on when you left home.
For me, probably the biggest hog of power points in my house are gadgets. Phones (usually 2 or 3 on the go), tablets, travel batteries and other small electronics. This is one of the drivers that ended with me falling in love with the charging stations AllDock and Fishbone. As the mobile market develops, the transition to USB Type C will continue and the adding 3 type C connectors to the sockITz is brave and clever. Brave because its quite early in the adoption of the connector and not many devices have taken it on as yet, but clever because the logical progression is in that direction and it gives them a level of future proofing on their product.
Here’s a quick look at the product from SockITz in a practical perspective
Because this product really caught our attention, we’ve reached out to SockITz and have had very speedy return contact from the Inventor and Managing Director of the company Cam Crawford. First and foremost we asked about the decision to move to USB Type C connectors and the port capabilities versus the already available (Bunnings and Electrical wholesalers) USB connectors.
The jump to type C is a lot to do with aesthetics as we can fit more outlets and the ease of insertion. We will be shipping adapter cables with first few batches to lightning or micro. We don’t support 100W out of the box it will be limited to 25W to start and yes its shared. The first device plugged in takes what it needs and next device takes what it needs etc.
On top of the power points, they have plans for “anything switches” to replace pretty much any switch in your home and personally I think this is pretty cool and I’ll be grabbing a couple of SockITz for testing out around my home and will be keeping an eye out for the switches when the launch.
Will SockITz be appearing in your house to replace the “dumb” power points you’ve got?