Gadgets :: September 28, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

What if, with the press of a button, you could turn off the TV, lock the front door and turn on the lights?

Logitech’s new Pop switches make controlling multiple smart home devices that easy.

The home switch starter pack gets you going with a single switch and a bridge that plugs into any standard AC outlet. The bridge must be placed where it can pick up your WiFi signal and within Bluetooth range of the Pop switch. 

Once you have everything setup, you won’t need your smartphone or tablet within reach; just press the button for the controls you programed.

If you already have compatible smart home devices setup, the Pop app will scan for those devices and run you through the setup assigning specific controls for the Pop.

Each Pop can be assigned up to three actions, choosing from a single, double or long press. An internal battery should last for about five years.

The Logitech Harmony Hub makes a great partner with the Pop switches since the Harmony can control TV, games, movie boxes and more.

Other compatible smart home devices include LIFX, Phillips Hue, Lutron, and Insteon products.

www.Logitech.com $99.99 for the starter pack, $39.99 for additional Pops

There’s nothing to not like about the iDevices thermostat, including how easy and fast it is to set up and get running.

Assuming you have wiring for a thermostat in place, just shut off the circuit breaker and follow the existing wire setup. If it sounds easy, that’s because it took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

The setup includes connecting to your existing WiFi and using the thermostat with the iDevices connect app, Apple HomeKit or Amazon Alexa. I tried it out with all three and each worked flawlessly.

My preferred method is with the Apple HomeKit system and the new Apple Home app, which  also lets me use voice commands with Siri.

The quick-start guide gave an example of a customized scene mode, which I thought was such a good idea that I copied it for my nighttime mode.

I just tell Siri when it’s time for bed and the thermostat adjusts to my sleeping temperature and a light connected to an iDevices switch turns off. Eight hours later the thermostat adjusts automatically to my set temperature.

Both the thermostat and the Everything can be adjusted manually or with set schedules based on your routine.

It’s really that simple and just a little bit of a stretch to say it’s a plug and play system.

The pass-through iDevices switch is also fully programable; since it works off WiFi, you can control it from anywhere and program it with specific time schedules.

https://idevicesinc.com $149.

Elgato’s Eve room wireless indoor sensor monitors air quality, temperature, and humidity with an internal sensor that analyzes volatile organic compounds.

The information is recorded to the Eve app via Bluetooth without needing a hub. You can view the recorded air quality by day, month or year.

Since the Eve system is Apple HomeKit enabled, you can use a Siri command for requesting humanity or temperature readings.

The sensor measures 3.1-by-3.1-by-1.3-inches and is powered by 3 AA batteries.

www.elgato.com $79.95

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