Swidget Modular Outlet with Smart Home Inserts
The Swidget modular outlet reminds me of Phonebloks. Which then became Google's Ara project. And then, I guess, fell into oblivion when the tech giant decided mobile phones with swappable modules that make upgrading existing phones easy, and the drive to buy new ones obsolete, weren't such a profitable business model after all. I hope the same fate doesn't befall Swidget.
And given most of us aren't perpetually in the market for the latest and greatest electrical outlet, plus the fact that Swidget intends to retain buyer interest with a growing suite of smart home outlet inserts, I doubt it will.
Install a Swidget in place of your standard outlet (they swear it's an easy DIY) and in addition to your pair of 3-prongs you'll receive a wired center slot for various Swidget inserts. When production is complete, they'll range from standalone inserts such as a night light or USB charger, to WiFi-, Z-Wave-, or ZigBee-enabled inserts compatible with a wide range of smart home products. Or you can start out with a Swidget and build your smart home platform outward from its modular inserts.
Swidget inserts snap in and out of the outlet, and can be controlled via smartphone or tablet app, or an existing smart home hub. Apps are usually linked to a specific insert, function, platform, or protocol (e.g., Smartthings, Nest, Google Home, Alexa).
Swidget seeks crowdfunding on Kickstarter through August 31, 2017. At printing, options available to backers included Swidget outlets with a WiFi insert - allows wireless outlet control and power consumption monitoring - or outlets with a Z-Wave insert for smart home integration. Additional Swidget inserts in the works include those for motion detection, carbon monoxide detection, a Bluetooth speaker, aromatherapy, a video camera, and an emergency lighting system.