Logitech just announced the first ever HomeKit-enabled programmable button, as an upgrade to the company's Logitech POP Smart Button. I'm looking forward to adding several of these to my personal HomeKit setup — the potential integrations and automations have me buzzing with excitement. 😍
If you're wondering why a tiny button has me so pumped or just want a little more info on the Logitech POP Smart Button, check out this FAQ to have your questions answered and your concerns quelled!
What the heck's a programmable button?
A programmable button, in HomeKit terms, is a device that can trigger different scenes and actions for your various HomeKit-enabled accessories. Depending on the button, different gestures can trigger different actions.
Put in physical terms, you hit the button and stuff happens in your house: You might have it set up to turn on all the lights in your kitchen, turn down the thermostat, or lock the front door — the possibilities are endless! The Logitech POP Smart Button is only the first HomeKit-enabled programmable button; you can bet more companies will create programmable buttons of their own.
OK, that sounds pretty neat! Tell me more about the POP, specifically.
You got it! The POP Smart Button is a tiny (2.36 in x 2.36 in) programmable button that comes in four colors: white, coral, teal, and alloy.
To get things going you'll buy the POP Smart Button Starter Kit — that includes a white POP, a tiny white bridge device (same size as the POP), and mounting tape for stickin' your Smart Button wherever you'd like! After you've got a POP bridge, you can buy as many extra buttons you want in any of the colors I mentioned before.
You won't have to buy a load of POPs to control a room, because each POP supports three separate actions: pressing once, pressing twice, and pressing and holding will all trigger different actions. You also won't have to buy a load of batteries to keep POP running. Logitech says the button's replaceable battery lasts about five years.
Alright, lay it on me: How much is this going to cost me?
It's actually one of the least-expensive HomeKit-enabled products I've come across!
- POP Smart Button Kit: $59.99
- Add-on POP Buttons: $39.99
And what smart home devices does it support?
The HomeKit-enabled POP will support any HomeKit-enabled accessories. The POP also natively supports the following devices:
- Philips Hue bulbs
- Insteon bulbs
- LIFX bulbs
- Lutron lighting and shades
- Hunter-Douglas shades
- August Smart Lock
- Sonos speakers
- SmartThings hub
- Belkin WeMo
- IFTTT integrations
- Several Harmony remotes and hubs
OK, I think I'm getting it. One question, though: How is this better than talking to Siri or Alexa or using the Home app?
I think there's a fundamental flaw in that question (which I wrote, so this is awkward). I would argue none of the home-control methods you mentioned are better than any of the others. They're all different and they all make sense in different contexts and with different people.
- My partner loves using Alexa to control the smart devices in our home — I regularly hear him chatting with Alexa about dimming the lights and turning on the fan.
- I prefer to use the iOS Home app to do most of my smart home control … most of the time! When I'm in my living room, I like to use the Hue Dimmer Switch to control all four of the Philips Hue lights in the room.
- One last case study: My guests almost never want to get an invite to use the iOS Home app during their visit, and many don't care to talk to Alexa or the Google Assistant. They prefer physical controls.
The POP Smart Button is a physical control for guests and a multi-purpose device for me (I'm thinking my partner won't be using the POP much). I can press once to turn off all the lights in my office, press twice to turn them all on, and press-and-hold to set my eye-fatigue lighting scene. To me, having that physical button with so much capability isn't only incredibly convenient, it's ideal.
Wow, you might have me convinced! When and where can I get a POP Smart Button?
When? Logitech says soon. Where? The POP Smart Button Kit and POP Add-on Smart Buttons will, for a time, be exclusive to Apple stores and on Apple's site. The Kit and Buttons will hit other retailers later this year.
Yep! You can check out this video for a demonstration of the Logitech POP Smart Button. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below or over on Twitter! I'll be reviewing the POP Smart Button soon as I can get my hands on it.
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