Staples might not be the first place you think of when it comes to buying smart home appliances, but the retailer attempting to tackle the home automation market with the launch of Staples Connect, an Internet-connected hub that centralizes all your smart things into one controller app.
Plenty of “smart” home devices have been popping up all over the market, and most come with proprietary apps that allows you to remotely control the power, settings, and timer as long as they are connected to the Web. Staples Connect gathers all the information into one app so you don’t have to switch around between apps – unless you prefer the look and feel of a certain one. Staples Connect also allows you to make “dumb” things smart by connecting non-Internet products with a Linksys hub. This means that even though you might not have cashed out on a set of the Philips Hue smart bulbs, you can still turn your regular incandescent into a smart one with an external hub.
The Staples Connect app contains a menu of all the different things you might have hooked up in your home: Outlets, lights, locks, webcams, fans, garage door, to name a few. Several smart home appliance manufacturers have also teamed up with Staples for the app, such as Honeywell (smart thermostat), DoorBot (smart doorbell), and ivee (Siri for the home). At launch, the Staples Connect will support up to 20 devices, and will be used in some Staples retail locations beginning mid-October if you want to get a feel for how it works.
The Staples Connect hub costs $100, and will be available in November. The app will be available for both iOS and Android.