Just launched on the market, with the aim of making the smart home simpler, Logitech Pop switches are for everyone. They provide access to a range of smart home devices, with simple or complex sets of commands made easy to control, and all activated with just a couple of taps of this funky bold wall switch.
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Pop could be a game changer for smart homes as the market looks for popularized and lower cost gateway technologies.
Since anyone can tap a Pop, they provide a more tactile access to smart home devices, great for people who don’t like talking to Siri or Alexa, and for those who fear wading through apps to change settings.
Logitech has moved steadily from being a PC accessory supplier to a smart home innovator in the last few years. Its new Pop wall switches are its first real innovation after a series of Harmony remotes, hubs, and the recent Logi
The Pop switches are available in funky coral or teal, restrained white or a futuristic alloy grey, but all are tough plastic designed to survive family use and regular tapping or bashing.
They have a the new Logi logo embossed, and can be mounted on any wall, so don’t replace the usual lightswitch, while the bridge simply plugs into any central wall socket.
The starter kit with two switches and a bridge is available here, while extra switches are sold here. This is a low cost smart solution.
They can be taped (mounting tape is provided and seems fairly sturdy) to any wall, at any height to be accessible to the user. The bridge provides control of the other devices, with all the setup taking place via a 50MB iOS or Android app.
The app divides the house into zones for the different Pop switches and helps create simple rules for each tap, all in plain English.
Services supported at launch include Philips Hue, Insteon, LIFX or Lutron smart lighting, Sonos audio, Harmony remotes as well as SmartThings or Belkin and other hubs. In use, the bridge plugs into any wall socket, so no wires.
It automatically scans the home to find your smart devices and lists anything it can find, with everything running over Bluetooth.
The switch can be tapped once, twice or three times, with different programs being triggered by the smart home hub to activate lights, music or other mood settings. Setup can be changed on the app with a simple drag and drop interface to change what happens.
Pros of the Logitech Pop
A lot of smart home technology looks pretty scary with flashing lights on the hardware, complicated menus and dense jargon, even on simple products. The Pop is part of a drive to move away from all that and make smart homes accessible to all.
It looks pretty sturdy and there’s not really a lot that can go wrong with it, but there’s a limited one year warranty just in case.
Aside from the odd Bluetooth range issue, there is little that can go wrong with the Pop, as long as you have compatible hardware, or are prepared to wait for updates, which will inevitably follow. But, for now it supports the most common smart home gadgets that people are likely to have around their home.
If your kids have smart lighting in their rooms, then they can have three easy setups; for going to bed, waking up (in winter, most likely) and a Sonos playlist, to let them enjoy smart technology without any of the fuss or hassle.
Adults will get more from the switches with plenty of mood lighting options, or more advanced control over their music. Either way, set the program, tap the button and the desired change occurs, simple, neat and effective.
Cons of the Logitech Pop
The main issue with the Pop is that you need some of the other technology listed before you can make use of it. If you’re starting from scratch, then that will bump the price up a lot, considering that the Pop itself is quite a bargain.
Since they are simply stuck to the wall, these Pop switches do come with a battery to run them, which doesn’t make a Pop the most permanent of fixtures. However, Logitech claims a life of around five years, so at least you won’t be messing around with the tape and trying to reattach them on a regular basis.
While the Pop system supports plenty of decent technology up front, there will be plenty of people asking why no Alexa or Apple HomeKit support, but this isn’t really a product for those types of buyers. Remember this is for the rest of the world and wait in an orderly queue for those updates to come later.
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This may not be the uber gizmo that a hard core smart home owner might be expecting, but it could do a lot more to help move the market forward.
This is a product that any seller in a mall or warehouse outlet can explain to any mom, pop, grandparent. Installation is straightforward and the results are practical and obvious.
It also refines how smart devices can work, with great auto-detection, and plain and simple scene or theme setup. This is how all smart home devices should be looking to work as the whole ecosystem tries to gain wider appeal.
While that might sound rather below those used to tinkering and tweaking, for everyone else, it is a welcome breath of fresh air, and something that potentially millions of users might give a shot. Only limited by the need to own a fair amount of smart home technology to really see the value of the Logitech Pop.
We do suspect that once a family gets a Logitech Pop to control their lights, they could soon be investing in a Sonos, or other system as compatibility grows, to really get the most from their cute switches.
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