ConnectSense Introduces Power Monitoring to Smart Outlet

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 20, 2016 2:55:07 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in app, Apple HomeKit, ConnectSense, connectsense, Featured In, General, high tech homes, HomeKit, power monitoring, press release, Press Releases, Products, smart home, smart home tech, smart outlet, tech, technology

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Smart Outlet Price Dropped to $59.95

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — (October 20, 2016) — ConnectSense, a developer and manufacturer of home automation products, announced the addition of power monitoring to its ConnectSense Smart Outlet and the ConnectSense app.

With the ConnectSense app, users can easily create integrated scenes and rules for the Smart Outlet and other home automation devices regardless of manufacturer, with just a few simple steps. Users can control their smart devices with the touch of a button or using Siri voice control.

With detailed power monitoring, users have insight into the power consumption of devices plugged into the Smart Outlet, as well as how long devices have been turned on. This allows users to adopt more energy efficient habits or to replace energy-hogging devices or appliances with more efficient choices.

Unique to the ConnectSense app is the ability to create rules based on power usage. For example, a homeowner can set a rule that says if the television has been on for three hours, turn it off. Also, for safety, rules can be set to turn off hot or potentially dangerous devices, such as flat irons, if they have been left on for an extended period of time.

More complex scenarios also can be set up to automate environments. For example, in a home theater, a homeowner can set a rule that says when the projector turns on, the room lights dim.

“We are happy to provide our customers a way to monitor their energy usage, and give them more control over their devices,” said Adam Justice, founder of ConnectSense. “Among the reasons to automate a home is to make it more energy efficient and to save money, and power monitoring will be an important tool in this effort.”

The ConnectSense power monitoring feature is available via firmware update free to existing customers in the current ConnectSense app.

ConnectSense also announced it is dropping the price of its ConnectSense Smart Outlet to $59.95. The Smart Outlet features two Internet-connected electrical sockets that enable users to control devices plugged into them using Siri via their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

About ConnectSense
ConnectSense develops and manufactures home automation products, including the ConnectsSense Smart Outlet and a line of wireless sensors that monitor changes in your environment then notifies you by email or text when something goes awry. ConnectSense can be found at www.connectsense.com and on Twitter at @ConnectSense.

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For information contact:

Linda Muskin, 847-432-7300
[email protected]

Mara Conklin, 847-816-9411
[email protected]

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What Interoperability Means for the Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 17, 2016 10:04:23 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Apple, ConnectSense, General, HomeKit, Internet of Things, interoperability, IoT, smart home, tech, technology

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The Internet of Things (IoT) is reliant upon connection, making communication one of the most rudimentary functions of internet-enabled technology. Interoperability opens up endless opportunities for IoT devices as it ensures that devices will be able to communicate with each other and store data in a central location. The IoT will be able to fulfil its promises of convenience and functionality if multiple devices can be controlled simultaneously while being able to communicate and transfer data with each other.

A majority of the companies that are manufacturing IoT technology are trying to create platforms and devices that will be accepted as the “industry leading solution.” However, this culture within the IoT industry has led to a large assortment of devices that have to be controlled as separate entities and from different apps. The fact of the matter is that consumers simply don’t want to have 50 different devices, each with their own app, that operate independently of each other. The growth of the industry will be limited until manufacturers begin to collaborate in developing devices that will work together within the same network.

Manufacturers clearly understand that interoperability is a necessity for the IoT to continue to grow. So why hasn’t a standardized control system been created? The answer is simple: money and brand recognition. Each company wants to be the one that develops the ultimate “hub” for controlling IoT technology as it will come with a major payout. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just means it will take more time to reach seamless interoperability than it would if there were more collaborative efforts. That being said, there are still some open-source initiatives to create interoperability that have shown signs of promise such as Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance.

When it comes to the individual corporations that are trying to create hubs for controlling smart technology, it appears that Apple is on the verge of creating total interoperability for HomeKit products. The upgraded Apple operating system, iOS10, has transformed the way HomeKit is used with its addition of the Home app. This app allows for any HomeKit device to be controlled from a central location. This means that instead of going to an app for each manufacturer, all devices can be controlled in the hub Apple has integrated within their new operating system. Companies like Google and Microsoft have also created similar smart home platforms, but they don’t quite offer this level of interoperability and don’t seem to have as much traction in the consumer world. These developments in HomeKit are great strides in achieving interoperability within the IoT.

Even though HomeKit has achieved a previously unseen level of interoperability, it still isn’t quite what consumers want in terms of creating a smart home that is completely connected. This is because HomeKit products are the only products that can communicate and operate within this network, thus limiting the device integration to Apple approved devices. This isn’t a bad thing for Apple because many other tech giants are trying to create this same level of interoperability for their respective smart home platforms. At this point in time, this segregated version of interoperability is the best consumers will get until these large corporations put their differences aside.

The current trends within the IoT industry are unlikely to change anytime soon due to the fact that smart home technology is still in the late stages of its infancy. As technology becomes more advanced and more efficient, consumers will begin to demand networks that are more connected, with devices that are able to communicate and operate in harmony. The interoperability provided in Apple HomeKit is a significant advancement from previous systems and is an innovative solution at this point in time. It will be interesting to see if large IoT businesses will be willing to work together in an effort to create a centralized hub that can control and communicate with any type of smart device.

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The Internet of Things and Networking

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 27, 2016 2:26:02 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ConnectSense, connectsense, gateway, General, Grid Connect, Internet of Things, IoT, M2M, machine to machine, Nathan Rockershousen, networking, smart home, Wi-Fi, wifi

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as more devices are becoming connected. However, the IoT is rendered useless without a system of networking to support it. As WiFi-enabled devices increase in popularity, the demand for networking will expand substantially. IoT-based technology is disrupting the current networking market due to vast amount of data that is collected and the quantity of devices connected to the Internet. Companies will be expected to have extremely efficient networks that will allow for real time analysis. In addition to this, simply having faster Internet speeds is essential in supporting the rise of IoT devices.

One of the developing applications of IoT devices is found within the smart home. Smart technology devices require extremely fast networks. The IoT-enabled ConnectSense sensors and Smart Outlet rely on networking to enable machine-to-machine communication. Your ConnectSense products collect large quantities of data in order to provide you with accurate and efficient analysis. Improving the ConnectSense cloud is one of the ways Grid Connect is able to help you adapt to the implementation of IoT devices in your home. The best way to fulfill the necessity of having a fast network is by creating quicker router speeds and ensuring that WiFi is able to be accessed everywhere in the home with a more advanced networking framework.

A strong network is essential for the use of various IoT products, whether it’s a smart home device, a piece of wearable technology, or even if it’s for an industrial application. Managing your network can be accomplished with the use of a Grid Connect gateway device to improve USB, serial, or custom sensor connections. Gateways and other networking devices can help improve networking abilities in order to support the demanding nature of connected and data-driven devices. Finding a perfect network configuration will compensate for whatever quantity of data your IoT devices are bringing in.

It is clear that the impact the IoT is having on networking is only going to expand as the demand for a more connected and efficient world continues to increase. Having quality control of networks will allow for an improved customer experience. Creating networks that can handle a great deal of traffic and data will allow you to be prepared for the IoT’s disruption of the networking market.

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Smart Home Real Estate

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 15, 2016 10:51:53 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ConnectSense, connectsense, General, home automation, Internet of Things, IoT, REAL ESTATE, smart home, smart house, smart outlet

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

Imagine moving into a house where the thermostat could adjust automatically depending on the time, where all of the lights could be controlled with the touch of a button, and where the doors could be locked from the comfort of bed. Houses with these technological innovations installed are becoming increasingly popular within the real estate market as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform the way we live our lives. Turning a home into a smart home with various IoT technologies can increase the value of a house substantially.

Smart technology brings a plethora of benefits to the home environment. The most attractive feature of the smart home is its ability to reduce monthly expenses such as electricity and heating. Home buyers and owners are very attracted to the idea that a smart home could help reduce the amount they are paying monthly as the cost of paying off a home can be cumbersome by itself. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet can help a home owner manage and control any electrical device from the comfort of their smart phone. The Nest Thermostat is able to learn the users schedule to adjust the temperature at the right times of day in order to prevent wasting energy on heating or cooling a home when no one is home. Automated devices like these can help manage and reduce power usage while making everyday tasks more convenient and efficient at the same time.

It is important to consider future growth of the IoT and its relevance in the home environment. Smart devices are increasing in popularity at an exponential rate. This means that more homes will be implementing smart technology in an effort to create a connected network of devices. The smart home will be the future of the real estate industry. As internet-enabled technology becomes a standard in homes, more home buyers will expect that houses come with this smart technology built in.

Smart home upgrades are not expensive to make and they can go a long way in increasing the value of a home. Devices such as smart locks, lights, outlets, and thermostats are relatively cheap and easy to install. An ecosystem of devices that enable a home owner to completely control their environment can be created with a couple hundred dollars. This is a cheap price to pay for the power these devices bring to the user, especially when they will help reduce the cost of monthly bills. Implementing smart technology within a home environment will increase the value of houses and will create additional incentive for home buyers to purchase a home.

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The Internet of Politics

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 24, 2015 8:48:32 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ConnectSense, General, Internet of Things, IoT, Political Campaigns, Politics, Polls, Sensors

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With all of the political candidates announcing their campaigns, our office has been wondering what the Internet of Things (IoT) will change about the campaigns of the future. So much of today’s media surrounds what the polls are saying and how the potential candidates carry themselves and respond to national issues. Candidates focus on promoting themselves in crucial areas and draw upon the funds of consistent supporters to push their platform ahead.

_MG_5983IoT technology could reorient this entire process! Data resulting from IoT devices could be able to target citizens who are most likely to support/vote for a particular candidate. Data from IoT products could also allow for the understanding of what his/her supporters want.

Devices that can be placed in a voter’s home could detect the reactions to certain political ads or debates.  During debates, for example, a smart button that records agreement or dissent with each candidate’s position can help them understand the overall opinions of the voting public.  This would provide virtually instant feedback and would allow each individual comment or idea to be vetted, not just the entire speech.

IoT can totally revamp the entire voting process, allowing people to vote more easily and quickly.  Instead of the typical ink and paper process, your iPhone (with fingerprint security) could easily be used to record votes and avoid any issues with “hanging chads”, like we experienced in 2000.  This would authenticate that the voter is who they say they are and might even allow people to vote from home.

Laugh detectors can tell when, during various points of a speech, the voter feels the viewpoints being shared are ridiculous.  Conversely, sensors that can detect when a voter is upset or angry can indicate disagreement with what the candidate might be saying.  A snore sensor may even exist to record when a candidate’s viewpoints or speeches are not of any interest at all.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on politics and the IoT in the comments below.

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The Difference Between Industrial, Commercial and Residential Sensors

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 11, 2015 9:55:53 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Commercial Sensors, ConnectSense, connectsense, General, Industrial Sensors, Internet of Things, IoT, Residential Sensors, Sensors

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One of the most memorable movie lines of all time is one word: plastics. In 1967's The Graduate, a recent college graduate struggles to figure out his destiny and is told that the future is in plastics. If that movie were produced today, the line would have been "sensors."

Mike Justice’ new article offers insight on the differences between industrial, commercial and residential sensors. Industrial sensors tend to be more rugged, as they have to withstand wide ranges of temperature, consistent vibrations, and the possible infiltration of dust and water. Sensors of this level must be calibrated to ensure the accuracy of the device. Commercial sensors are used in components of other products such as the measuring system of a gas pump.   Sensors of this type are often required by law to receive calibration, and for the rest it is strongly advised. Residential sensors, although less impervious to temperature and damage, are subjected to rigorous tests to receive certification.

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1F6sMzR

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Connected World Magazine Announces IoT Innovations Winners

[fa icon='calendar'] May 5, 2015 9:23:31 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Connected World Magazine, ConnectSense, connectsense, ConnectSense Smart Outlet, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, Internet of Things, IoT, Peggy Smedley, Press Releases, PRWEB, Theodore Levitt

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Some of the most transformative startups and multinational corporations are “doing new things” in the IoT (Internet of Things) marketplace. In response to this growth in the space, Connected World magazine today named the winners of the inaugural IoT Innovations Awards.

Carol Stream, Ill. (PRWEB) May 05, 2015

Theodore Levitt, an American economist, says, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” Some of the most transformative startups and multinational corporations are “doing new things” in the IoT (Internet of Things) marketplace. In fact, analyst firm IDC says in the IDC Market in a Minute infographic the installed base of IoT units will soar to 28.1 billion in 2020.

In response to this growth in the space, Connected World magazine today named the winners of the inaugural IoT Innovations Awards.

Submitted IoT (Internet of Things) products were judged by an editorial panel representing a cross section of the industry. Both business and consumer IoT products were submitted for judging. Winning products are selected based on a variety of criteria, including most creative and technologically advanced products, services, and platforms.

“The IoT market is prospering at such a rapid rate that new products seem to be announced almost by the hour. Connected World is searching for the most innovative products that change people’s lives and the way businesses operate,” says Peggy Smedley, editorial director, Connected World magazine. “The winners of the first IoT Innovations prove novelty and creativity continues to assert itself in the IoT community across a plethora of industries.”

The 26 winners of the IoT Innovations Awards for summer 2015 are: 
Apio Situational Awareness Platform – by Apio Systems
Cradlepoint COR IBR 1100 – by Cradlepoint
XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit – by Digi
LS1021A-IoT Gateway Reference Design – by Freescale Semiconductor
Gimbal Proximity Beacon Series 21 – by Gimbal
ConnectSense Smart Outlet – by Grid Connect 
Home View 3D – by Icontrol Networks
DriveSync – by IMS
Intel IoT Gateways – by Intel
Intel IoT Platform – by Intel
SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt – by Kwikset
Monnit Cellular Temperature Monitoring System – by Monnit
Type ZY Bluetooth Smart Module – by Murata
M-Connect – by Oberthur Technologies
Skywave IDP-782 – by Orbcomm
GT 1100 – by Orbcomm
PI System Collaboration with ArcGIS – by OSIsoft
Ring Video Doorbell – by Ring
Calliope LTE Platform – by Sequans Communications
SkySpark – by SkyFoundry
Trilliant Smart Communications Platform – by Trilliant
ODIN-W2 – by u-blox
Generation 2 BodyWorn – by Utility
WeatherBug Home – by WeatherBug
Wind River Edge Management System – by Wind River
ZEN Thermostat – by ZEN

To nominate for the next IoT Innovations Awards, please complete the survey online by the Aug. 27, 2015 deadline: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DecIoT

For more information on the 2015 IoT Innovations winners, check out the June/July issue by downloading the Connected World app in the Apple or Android App Store. Just search for Connected World.

About Connected World Magazine 
Connected World is the business and technology publication that provides the intelligence industry titans need and the guidance consumers crave. It’s all about M2M. connectedworld.com

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Grid Connect Introduces ConnectSense Handset Telephone with Ten-Number Memory Dial to the Smart Home Space

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 1, 2015 4:00:09 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in April Fools, April Fools Day, ConnectSense, connectsense, cord, General, Grid Connect, joke, Press Releases, smartphone, technology, telephone, Wi-Fi, wifi

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NAPERVILLE, IL--(Apr 1, 2015) - A new easy-to-use telephone with ten number memory connectsensetelephonedial is now available for pre-order from Grid Connect. The ConnectSense Telephone features nine speed dial memory buttons that enable users to call frequently used numbers and a redial function to quickly dial the last outgoing number.

This reliable and affordable telephone is designed for those who want to avoid hassles and frills of smartphone technology and cordless handsets.

The ConnectSense Telephone can be placed on any convenient surface or mounted on the wall to save table space. This surface or wall mounting option provides quick and powerful access to make or receive calls in one room of your home. With its simple, corded design, users will never have to worry about misplacing their handset anywhere throughout their house.

Other features that make the ConnectSense Telephone unique include:

  • No need for Wi-Fi set up or programming of notification and call ringtones.
  • Plugs directly into your wall so there is no need for users to charge their ConnectSense Telephone before use.
  • Ten-number memory dial so users can quickly call frequently and recently used phone numbers.
  • Illuminated keypad with push button technology for use in darkly lit rooms of the house.
  • Ringer and handset volume control for personalized, user loudness customization.
  • No Caller ID means no need to stress about who is calling.
  • Mute button so users can silence their side of the conversation while in noisy rooms or while ridiculing the other party under their breath.

The ConnectSense Telephone is available now for pre-order at www.connectsense.com/telephone and will ship in the third quarter of 2015. Priced at $8.99, the ConnectSense Telephone offers tremendous value compared to smartphones and cordless home handsets, as it includes a cord.

 

About Grid Connect 

Grid Connect (www.GridConnect.com), an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things, including the ConnectSense line of wireless sensors. Grid Connect can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect. ConnectSense can be found at www.ConnectSense.com and on Twitter @ConnectSense

 

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CES 2015: Grid Connect's Biggest Takeaways about the Smart Home Space

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 19, 2015 6:41:38 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CES 2015, ConnectSense, connectsense, Consumer Electronics Show, Events, General, Grid Connect, home automation, Internet of Things, smart device, smart home, smart outlet

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A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it.

Now that it's been a week since we've returned to the office and had some time to reflect, here are some takeaways we gathered from the Smart Home section of the show...

"Home automation was the belle of the ball at CES 2015. There were a lot of new and exciting products.  I feel like 2015 will be the year that home automation comes into focus and goes mainstream.  The winners in this market are going to be those who focus and build best in class devices that interoperate with other companies devices through standards like HomeKitAllSeenOICThread and others. The losers in this market will be those that try to do it all themselves and build every device under the sun on their system. In the end, what is good for consumers is good for this market. Companies that keep that in mind will do well."

Adam Justice, Vice President of Grid Connect and Founder of ConnectSense

"Wow! As always, the CES was an amazing event. We saw companies in the home automation space introducing products to broaden their product line, while others jumped in where they hadn’t played before.  There seems to be more and more devices every time I check Gizmodo or Mashable. Unfortunately, a lot of them are the same ol’ same ol’…innovation wins with me every time!

The big question is, what company will win the platform war? Are you developing your own ecosystem of devices 'on an island' of their own? Companies need to make sure the applications or the products are upgradable to future standards to take advantage of new features and capabilities. The last thing anyone wants to do is continually replace their devices or systems when new features are enabled."

John Marchiando, Vice President of Business Development at Grid Connect

"There are a lot of people and companies who want to be involved. Many devices are similar to each other so companies must separate themselves from their competition through the features and benefits of their products. They must also make sure to deliver on their promises about the capabilities of each device. Consumers are going to have to research different companies and their products to make sure they are finding the right devices for their needs and ideally, compatible with other home automation products they have now or will have in the future.

As a consumer, my biggest takeaway was that any product I buy needs to be worth the price tag. If the features and benefits are not up to par, or if it just plain doesn't work, it's not going to be in my house."

Brittney Borowicz, Marketing Manager at Grid Connect

And on the first time exhibiting at CES...

"As a first timer, the CES show is massive. The investment of the big companies like Intel, Samsung, LG are unbelievable. Our booth was in the Innovation area, which was fun to see all the different types of companies that were doing cool things. Our new Smart Outlet was well received and demoing it with Siri is a cool feature.  We will be back at CES next year, in the Smart Home section of the show."

Mike Justice, President and CEO of Grid Connect

What was your biggest takeaway about the smart home from CES 2015?

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How the first Apple HomeKit products will work

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 13, 2015 1:37:15 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Apple HomeKit, CES 2015, ConnectSense, connectsense, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, International CES, Mashable, smart home, smart outlet

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The first collection of Apple HomeKit-compatible products were quietly announced last week at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, and we saw everything from smart plugs and sensors to garage door openers and locks.

There's nothing too sexy about those types of appliances, but we were able to learn more about how Apple HomeKit and its vision for the smart home will work.

Let's take a closer look by narrowing in on one of the new products. Grid Connect's ConnectSense Smart Outlet...

Read more at Mashable or download the PDF now.

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