I’m not sure if any of you have seen this upcoming device called Switchmate. Effectively it’s a motorized overlay for your existing light switches that’s controllable via Bluetooth Low Energy OR via any internet-connected device with their optional hub. Essentially it works like a Lockitron or August, but instead of your lock, its for your light switch. This could be a decent solution for SmartThings users who have more complex 3-way lighting switch installs or who do not have neutrals. Share your thoughts!
“Upcoming Device” = vaporware.
This flurry of far in advance product announcements with pre-sales or crowd funding is infuriating. There was a time when innovative products were developed in stealth so that their designs would not be copied without facing a huge head start.
The Switchmate has limited utility. I worked around a 3-Way switch problem by using GE Link light bulbs, which also let me independently control lights at the bottom and top of stairs which were previously hardwired to one circuit, 2-switches.
@tgauchat - I agree that not having ship dates on some of these products can be frustrating, but I can’t complain about companies building a more diverse mix of devices…we only stand to benefit from that.
GE Link light bulbs, while functionally good, present their own issues; they only come in 3 bulb sizes and if you have lighting fixtures that require multiple bulbs (like a chandelier with say 4 bulbs in it) it can be a vastly more expensive solution.
I still find this device to be a novel idea…hopefully it turns out to be a functional product.
This thing, and another even uglier one I saw yesterday would never pass WAF in my world, what’s the solution for multi gang installs?
It would work well for me if the price is right. WAF doesn’t concern me - it’s a button vs a flip. I think it looks better than the other style I saw this week which was more like a hump over the switch.
Looks like the indiegogo is launching on March 2nd.
This is bluetooth. Not bluetooth mesh. So you will have to have your smartphone or one of their hubs within 50 feet of every switch you want to control.
May work quite well for a single room installation. Whole house will be a bear.
The ideal usage, turning on a downstairs basement light, may fail because the bluetooth won’t travel well through water pipes and other building materials that are typical of basement construction.
So…you’re 50 feet from a light switch. How much easier does this make your life? As opposed to, say, a single Cree bulb, which will likely cost less.
I can see some uses for this, especially for point to point. It would be cool for when you’re replacing bulbs in a dumb ceiling light fixture and want to toggle power while you’re up the ladder. Electricians might even pack one in their toolbox.
For a home automation installation, maybe, just depends on the use case.
As a quad, I have a few places I might use one. The form factor looks perfect for my service dog to use.
The biggest problem I see is range.
So I do like it, I just see it as having fairly limited uses.
I forgot to reply to your comment, hence the duplicate post.
I agree with most of your points. I’ve read some of their responses to criticisms such as yours and they seem to have a good understanding of their products’ limits as well as their intended market.
They designed this to be the simplest form factor for light automation. A Cree bulb can still be switched off at the source. And most users are not technically inclined enough to install switches or install custom apps.
I think their angle is slap the thing on and you’re done. If it actually works as advertised it will probably be a hit. Although probably not with the typical smartthings user as we obviously want something we can integrate with.
From the website:
“With the hub, you can use Switchmate from anywhere with internet access!”
If this looks like a good form factor for you, it appears they are planning for remote access as well.
It’s “from anywhere” access to their hub. Like the ST Hub. The hub still has to be within 50 feet of the switch.
Indiegogo campaign launched today. Looks like they’ll easily meet their goal.
Pre-order prices are $39 for 1, $89 for 2, $99 for 3. Which is decent pricing at least. Looks like retail price will be $50 each, too expensive in my opinion.
Either way, it’s not for me personally unless they make a z-wave version. But it’s nice to see more products trying to tackle the “switch issue”.
I really like the form factor in the switch mate as far as something my service dog can use. As long as he doesn’t knock it off every time, in which case I’d have to find a better attachment method than magnets.
I particularly like that there should still be an audible click when the switch changes, as that’s an indicator to the dog that he’s done with the task.
BTW Aeotec has a capacitive touch panel which is zwave. But it only works with their relay, so total cost per switch is higher and you have to do some wiring. It also wouldn’t work as well for my particular purposes. But it’s on the market now.
I think it’ll be a “We added support, Enjoy!”. I’m highly hoping it will support an IndieGoGo project called SwitchMate I backed. We might see some first party support from SmartThings.
Is this switch Z-wave/Zigbee or Wifi? I hope this is not another Indogogo RipOff!
Switchmate is a dead simple bluetooth device. Fits over the existing switch and physically toggles it when it receives the bluetooth command.
It’s one of the few indiegogo projects I backed before release because, honestly, there’s not much that can go wrong from an engineering standpoint other than it falling off the switch or not fitting some switches.
I backed it mostly as a market research statement that there is a niche for retrofit switch controls that are more about function than aesthetics. I expect it to look pretty awful in person (it’s a big box that fits on top of the existing switch), but if it works, i don’t care.
Obviously compatibility with ST hub 2 would be great, although I’m guessing that would be through the switchmate bridge, cloud to cloud, rather than direct to bluetooth for range reasons.
That’s going to be true for a lot of bluetooth devices. They’re really only one room solutions unless, like HomeKit, there’s a wifi/bluetooth bridge in every room, in which case the hub having bluetooth doesn’t really matter.
Going back to Switchmate. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, Bluetooth Smart). I don’t believe it was a scam, has gotten media coverage, if the form of a TechCrunch panel as well as a few videos. I was REALLY hesitant on backing it, just because it was IGG. I’m keeping my hopes up. If someone added SmartThings support, it would practically make the switchmate a miracle!
Oh! they also have a money back guarantee! Neat!
Going back to the date: I. Have. No. Earthly. Clue.
Every Kickstarter / IGG gadget campaign gets a lot of media coverage these days, mostly written in the present tense as if the gadget were on Amazon. They run the campaign’s Press Release almost word for word because it is free content supply.
And the media seldom follows up on failed projects.
True, well I think this one is “different”. If this was faked, they’re doing a mighty good job.
Have some faith! SmartThings began as a Kickstarter project, it turned out great!
Although I do wish we (as backers) got more updates on status.
I’m actually one of the founders of Switchmate and I wanted to join in on the conversation here. I can assure we are working hard on our product. You can see our update from June here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/switchmate-smart-lighting-made-simple#/updates
I know there have been some concerns about range but I can tell you we’re optimizing for range on this device rather than data transfer (as there isn’t much). At least with the preliminary tests I’ve done, I am able to get 100-150 feet within the home on our current design. This still may not cover an entire house but we’re working on that too!
As of now our shipping date is still projected to be December of this year - we will be sending an update out if this should change. If you have any specific questions, let me know and I’d be glad to answer!
Excellent. I backed it, and as people here know I back very few products that aren’t through the certification stage.
I really like the form factor on Switchmate. It has the potential to solve a very specific use case for me. I’m quadriparetic, wheelchair-dependent with limited hand function. Regular wall switches are very difficult for me. So home automation is really helpful.
My service dog can do many single gang switches, but dual or triple are difficult. And as it happens, my parents’ house has a bunch of dual gang switches. Most of the time there’s only one I need to use, but the presence of the second makes things very challenging.
I’m hoping the Switchmate will solve the light switch issue when I go to visit. Or even when I’m in a hotel. It should be far more transportable than most networked switches, and I’m hoping my dog will be able to use it as well. We’ll see.