Listen, we'd all like an automated home -- we've got the appliances and we've got the smart devices. What we really need is a bridge between the two, something that allows our little pocket computers to turn our home devices on and off at will. There has been no shortage of attempts by some of the most prominent names in the industry to become a catch-all solution, but none have really managed to make a major impact on our day-to-day lives. It's hard to point to a single explanation for the lack of mainstream adoption -- though if we had to choose one, we'd probably point to pricing. After all, automation's a convenience, to be sure, but for the vast majority of us, thousands of dollars is an awful lot to pay for convenience.
You could wait a decade or so for the cost to come down on some standardized solution, or you could bite the bullet and pick up something easier and considerably cheaper in the near future. It's not the most elegant solution we've seen, but Smart Power Strip is clever, intuitive and requires pretty much nothing in the way of installation to get started. Simply put, it's a power strip with a little extra. There's a WiFi module built in and controls that let you turn the individual outlets on and off using a smartphone and the company's proprietary app. That means you can turn the lights on the minute you get home without flicking a switch.