Connected-home technology and the Internet of Things are poised to explode in popularity over the next several years. How far humanity has come — having our refrigerators, thermostats, and door locks connected to the internet. Huzzah! All joking aside, it is actually exciting stuff, folks.
There can be a ton of different toggles and apps and commands you can yell at Alexa to make everything work, which is fine if you live by yourself. But if you have kids or guests or babysitters who need to turn on the lights without downloading and learning a new app, it can get stressful. Smart homes can be very complex. Logitech is addressing that problem.
Today, Logitech announces a very curious home device. Simply called “Pop”, it is a switch, that when pressed, can perform an action. Actually, each switch can do three actions, depending on how the user interacts with it. It is looking like Logitech has hit a home-run with Pop.
Unlike smart home buttons like the Philips Hue Tap, Logitech Pop Home Switch is compatible with a wide range of lighting and smart home products including lighting, door locks, and blinds from companies like LIFX, Phillips Hue™, Lutron, and INSTEON®, and you can mix and match product controls on an individual switch.
“Each switch can trigger three actions using different presses — a single press, a double press, and a long press. For example, you can set individual switches to turn smart products on/off, adjust brightness and scene presets, or quickly access your favorite Sonos music playlists and stations”, says Logitech.
Setup is simple. The Pop app (available for Android® and iPhone®) scans your Wi-Fi network for compatible devices in the home. Then, you can assign individual devices to a switch or combine multiple devices into a single trigger using Recipes — simple combinations of product controls you can set up using the Pop app. So, if you want to set the mood with lighting and the music turned up for date night, you can do that easily with a single press of Pop. Or if your kids want the music tuned to a specific playlist or the lights bright to help them concentrate when they’re studying, they can easily do that with another press.
Plus, pairing your Pop Home Switch with a Logitech Harmony hub-based remote expands the types of devices that Pop can control exponentially with the addition of every entertainment product Harmony can control. The Pop Home Switch can be used to trigger one-touch Harmony Activities, such as “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music”, combining both home entertainment and smart home devices like lights, locks, blinds, and more.
“Sometimes you just want to set the mood for movie night without opening multiple apps to turn down the lights, turn on the TV and the sound bar and draw the blinds.” said Renee Niemi, head of the Smart Home business at Logitech. “With Pop, you can do all that with a press of the switch. It makes the smart home simple and accessible for everyone — not just the person with the smartphone.”
Yes, the Pop seems unbelievably simple, and that is why I am totally fascinated. Look, not everyone is a technology expert; sometimes brilliance is bred from limitation. Logitech’s Pop could be a godsend for someone that doesn’t want any degree of complication.
The Pop switch can sit on, say, a table, where it can perform a few actions for a child or elderly family member. Heck, people of all ages and capacities should be able to find uses. I envision a few being scattered around a house, becoming second-nature for users.
While compatibility can grow over time, Logitech says it will initially work with “LIFX, Phillips Hue, Lutron, and INSTEON” devices. It can even be linked with some Harmony remote controls.
The Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack and the Logitech Pop Add-on Home Switch are expected to be available in the U.S. in August. The suggested retail price of the Pop Home Switch Starter Pack is $99.99 and the Pop Add-On Home Switch suggested retail price is $39.99. The Pop app will be free for both Android and iPhone users, and is expected to be available in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit Logitech.com
Do you think Logitech has hit a home-run with Pop?