SmartPlug turns your home into a modern-day Clapper

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iHome SmartPlug HomeKit
You may not get a whole lot of use out of a single SmartPlug.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Home automation, specifically Apple’s HomeKit framework and its compatible accessories, is the latest Thing We’re Supposed to Get Excited About™. And it has a lot of promise for convenience, time-saving, and just generally feeling like you live in the future.

The first HomeKit-compatible smartplug is upon us, courtesy of iHome. The ISP5 SmartPlug is a $40 device that plugs into your wall outlet and lets you run whatever you plug into it from your iPhone, using either Siri or the companion app.

It does everything it says it will: You can set up rooms and zones, and control individual appliances or whole groups of them with a tap or quick voice command. It also lets you build “rules” to make your stuff turn on and off without your input. All of this is cool, but when you actually have one, you might struggle to think of useful ways to use it.

iHome Unveils Bluetooth Headphones And A Blinker-Earphone Combo For After-Hour Fitness Buffs

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iHome's iB85 Bluetooth headphones .

If Cult of Mac ever created an award for “Most Prolific i-Gadget Maker,” there’s little doubt it would eventually end up in a cabinet at iHome’s headquarters (or possibly more accurately in a cabinet at their parent company, SDI technologies, which also owns New Balance and Timex).

Of the four new gadgets iHome has just revealed, the two we’re highlighting are a set of Bluetooth headphones endowed with the unimaginative moniker of iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Foldable Headphones and the somewhat more interestingly named iB12 Sport Earbuds with LED Safety Flasher — though the latter’s name is perhaps only more interesting simply because it combines the words “Safety Flasher” and “Earbuds.”

iHome Adds Lightning To Hotel Favorite iDL45 Dock

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If you stayed in any but the most flea-bitten of hotels in the last few years, you will have seen an iHome dock on the nightstand, ready to be mostly ignored until you need a place to charge your iPhone at night.

And as you eyed the clock/radio/speaker you may have chuckled to yourself and muttered something about the poor hotel owner, who just wasted like tens of thousands of dollars on now-obsolete 30-pin connector-equipped boxes.

If only he's waited, he could have had this new Lightning version, which also works with older models.