With the ConnectSense Bluetooth Extender, shown off in CES at Las Vegas this week, you'll be able to install smart home devices in the far corners of your home without worrying about being out of range. The Extender will send the signal of devices that communicate through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to the cloud, allowing you to control those devices while on the go.
BLE allows sensors that don't need a lot of power to function for years without needing a battery swap. The biggest drawback of BLE is you have to be nearby (usually in the same room or an adjacent one) to control a Bluetooth device with your phone. The Extender looks to fix that problem.
ConnectSense's device will work with Apple's HomeKit, though unfortunately it won't double as a hub for Apple's smart home software. You'll still need an or an if you want to use Siri to control your smart home from the road.
The $40 to $50 sensor (the exact price hasn't been finalized) will be available this Spring, and likely works best in conjunction with an Apple TV or iPad. If you have a big place, you could put one Apple TV in the main room and use the Extender as a bridge to your sensors in the basement.
Along with the Extender, ConnectSense will be showing off two new HomeKit sensors at CES this week:
- A temperature and humidity sensor that pairs with any HomeKit thermostat
- A water sensor for detecting leaks
Both will work with Bluetooth and run on three AAA batteries. You'll be able to buy the Extender and both sensors in a pack for $100 (converts to roughly £80, AU$140) later this year.