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Quirky's Outlink disguises smarts in a standard-looking wall outlet

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At today's Quirky event in New York, the startup announced seven new products, bringing Wink capability to a number of new frontiers in your home. They'd previously made managing power possible with their Pivot Power Genius , a surge protector with smarts. Now, with the Quirky Outlink, you can bring smarts to any outlet without the need of an extra bulky device.

You can install the Outlink over any 15 amp duplex outlet. The bottom plug gives you a standard option, while the top plug offers connected smarts. You can control the power of anything plugged in on top remotely via the iOS or Android app, so you can check to make sure the TV is off when at the office, for instance. Quirky does not offer desktop functionality for the Outlink yet.

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Quirky

You'll need a Wink Hub or Wink Relay to operate the Outlink, which cost $80 and $300 respectively, making its standalone price point of $50 much steeper if you haven't already invested in the Quirky ecosystem.

Once up and running, you'll be able to use the app to turn the top plug on or off remotely or set a schedule. The Outlink will also be able to monitor energy usage, and you can customize alerts so you'll stay informed if you're going over an expected budget.

All in all, the Outlink shares a lot of the same functionality as the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch . Belkin's product costs $60, and offers scheduling smarts, remote capability, energy monitoring, and wider product compatibility via online rule generator IFTTT. The original Belkin switch costs $10 less, but sacrifices the energy readings.

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Quirky

The capabilities of Belkin's switches and the Outlink look very similar. The Outlink will get its interoperability from the many products compatible with Wink Hubs. The main difference between the two, if the Outlink can perform up to its promise, will be the design. Belkin's switches simply plug in to your wall, providing some flexibility as you can quickly move the switch around to wherever you might need it, but they'll also stick out once in place. The install for the Outlink will inevitably be more complicated, as you'll need to replace your switch, but once up and running, I can see myself appreciating such a discreet connected product.

You can preorder the Outlink now on Quirky's website. The expected delivery date is December 21, 2014, so if you're excited about having a smart wall outlet, you won't have too long to wait.

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