OK, yes, this is a pre-announcement, but all of the companies involved are well-established and I do expect the products to hit the market this year.
These are “self powered” zigbee green energy switches which don’t need batteries: they are powered by the kinetic energy that occurs when you press the switch. If you’re familiar with the Phillips hue “Tap,” this is the same technology.
In this case, though, Phillips is not going to make the switch is themselves. Instead they have chosen partner companies in the different regions that already make devices using this technology. Among others, Illumra in the US and Busch-Jaeger in the EU.
These are the wall switches that people have been asking for to go with smart bulbs: they’ll fit in the space of a regular wall switch, or could just be Velcro to the wall anywhere. They will look like a conventional switch. ( for those interested, they will be HomeKit compatible as long as you are using the Hue bridge)
We’ll have to wait to see the exact details and how integration might work with smartthings, but this is a very exciting announcement:
The partner companies already make the switches. The only thing that’s new will be the hue bridge working with them, and it already works with this technology for their own tap switch, which is why I do think they will meet their timeline.