sockITz is an Aussie company that started back in 2010 with one clear focus, to make powerpoints smart. Powerpoints aren’t something you think about day-to-day, basically because they’re dumb, plug something in and they’re either on or off. While there’s plenty of 3rd-party solutions that sit between your powerpoint and devices to add some smarts, sockITz has gone one better, upgrading the powerpoint itself.
Moving with the times, sockITz have revised their design and now in its 3rd iteration, the new outlets feature glass faceplates that use capacitive touch points instead of the old school switches to turn things on or off.
The glass touch sockITz have been designed as a stand alone double power socket with USB ports, which on its own isn’t impressive, but unlike a lot of the big brands, these guys are moving with technology to include 3 of the latest USB-C connections.
When considering what a powerpoint of the future should include, sokITz went above and beyond in catering for integration into your smart home. First off, the edges of the powerpoints are illuminated with multi-coloured lights that can be controlled by other IoT devices, or by their own mobile app.
The touch switches can be programmed to require a common double tap to activate or a tap and hold for a second or a simple tap on off. All configured through a simple app on your phone. In the promotional video, the developers have plenty of examples of how this lighting can be used intelligently. One particularly interesting implementation is to connect them to smart smoke detectors and have the edges of your powerpoints flash red if smoke is ever detected. Not only would this alert anyone with hearing difficulties, but also light the way to the exit.
While you can buy a vanilla version that just has the easy-to-clean, modern glass finish and touch points, the platform includes the ability to remove the faceplate and add what they call brickz to your sockITz. This enables remote configuration, scheduling and connection with other devices. These brickz can create a mesh WiFi network to allow them to communicate with each other. This means as long as you’re in range of one when you head out the door, you can tap once to turn off every outlet in your house. If you already have a Z-wave home automation system, there’s a brickz for that as well.
Right about now you’re thinking this is awesome, how much.. here’s the kicker, they’re not out until around May, but you can pre-order them now. Of course these smart points don’t come cheap.
Each glass touch sockITz with USB (x3 type-C) costs A$98.00 to pre-order, or $75 without USB. Clearly that’s a massive markup on your regular powerpoints, but regular powerpoints can’t come close to the functionality of the sockITz. The glass finishes come in white or black and there’s also an acrylic that comes in bright green, just because.
These aren’t out yet, so I haven’t reviewed them, but as someone who’s building a house, I’m severely tempted by these smart powerpoints. If you’re keen, you can pre-order at sockITz.