TLDR: The Switchmate Power plugs into a traditional AC wall outlet and turns it into a smart hub, giving you control over any device plugged into it right over your phone.
The Internet of Things has changed virtually everything. Not too many years ago, if you wanted a smart house with all kinds of electronics springing to life automatically to serve your needs, you needed to be independently wealthy.
And it wasn’t even to buy all the equipment you’d need to make it happen. It was because you’d literally need to custom build the house from the ground up with all that ability baked into the construction to achieve that level of home autonomy.
Now, you can turn virtually anything that plugs into an AC outlet into a smart device for under $11. Pretty crazy world, right? Thankfully, devices like the fiendishly useful Switchmate Power Dual Smart Power Outlet ($10.99, 72 percent off, from TNW Deals) are bringing fully realized smart homes to life in a way we never would have imagined even just a few years ago.
The Switchmate Power is so simple that it’s almost ridiculous. It looks like a traditional AC wall outlet — and it plugs into one just like it’s an AC wall outlet. But once it’s plugged in, the Switchmate instantly brings remote access to almost any device you plug into its twin outlets.
The outlet syncs to the SimplyHome Smart app on your phone, which then gives you control over the power feed to both outlets. With that level of control, users can schedule individual timers for each plug in. Set your table lamp to spring on when you want, make a portable air conditioner or heating unit kick in at a certain time, or rev up an electric blanket before you arrive when the cold winter months roll around.
While that’s all supremely useful and impressive, the Switchmate Power doubles down by offering a full range of voice commands via your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The outlet also includes a pair of USB ports to power up any nearby devices — and it’s also got its own built-in nightlight to guide your way in the dark.
All that functionality — and it’s all less than $11. The Switchmate Power Dual Smart Power Outlet usually retails for $39, but right now, you can get one for a startlingly low $10.99.
Prices are subject to change