Samsung, Logitech Start To Simplify Smart Home Devices

More connected devices are coming to homes and some are focused on simplicity.

Logitech’s new Pop Home Switch introduced yesterday is a physical button, which consumers can customize to control virtually any connected devices within their home.

The system is centered around the Pop bridge, which plugs into a wall outlet and automatically scans a user’s Wi-Fi network for available devices to connect. Through the Pop mobile app, consumers can connect to devices in their homes and customize the function of each Pop Switch to control those devices.

Each Pop switch can be assigned up to three user-defined functions that are triggered by a short press, long press or pressing the button twice. Any number of additional Pop switches can be added to the system.

The idea behind this system is to centralize the capabilities of different connected devices in consumers’ homes into an easy-to-use physical interface that doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. Simplifying the smart home is the goal, according to Renee Niemi, head of Smart Home products at Logitech.

“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,” Niemi said in a statement.

“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.”

Currently, the switches can control smart lights from Philips, Insteon, LIFX and Lutron, as well as music through Sonos speakers and smart locks from August.

However, the power may be in connecting to other smart home platforms, which have their own set of supported devices. For example, Pop can be connected to a Harmony remote and hub, one of Logitech’s other smart home offerings.

When connected, a Pop switch can be assigned to control any entertainment product that Harmony can, which is more than 270,000 home entertainment devices, according to Logitech.

Another compatible platform is Samsung’s SmartThings, which comprises a suite of connected home products like electrical outlets, home video cameras and multipurpose sensors.

Samsung also just acquired high-end appliance company Dacor to further expand its connected appliances, though it is unclear if the SmartThings support will extend to those connected products in the future.

On the software side, the Pop app is driven by IFTTT (if this, then that), which enables consumers to create ‘recipes’ based on sets of conditions.

For example, a user pressing a Pop switch once triggers an outcome that has been predefined in the app to correlate with that action, but pressing the switch twice triggers something else.

IFTTT has been a widely used standalone app, but the team has recently been working with various brands to integrate these capabilities natively into other apps and platforms.

Other brands to recently add IFTTT integration into their apps include Abode, Awair, BloomSky, LIFX, Qapital, Roger, Skybell and Stack Lighting.

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