If you’ve been pining for a sleek wireless light switch with Alexa built right in, now’s your chance. iDevices, Hubbell’s smart home subsidiary, today took the wraps off the Instinct, a wireless switch natively integrated with Amazon’s voice assistant. It’s hub-free and compatible with existing internet of things (IoT) devices, and it boasts nice-to-haves like an LED light ring and motion and ambient light sensors.
“By combining Amazon Alexa with a smart light switch, counter space is no longer a barrier to whole-home voice control,” said iDevices president Chris Allen. “Instinct is the epitome of sophisticated intelligence, functionality, and design — a critical breakthrough in the smart home evolution. It represents the latest innovation from iDevices and a clear shift in how we’ll interact with our homes going forward.”
The single-pole Instinct, which starts at $100, ships with a custom faceplate and plays nicely with standard silicon-coated wiring. iDevices claims its dual far-field microphones (which have a mute switch) pick up commands more reliably than comparable Alexa-enabled switches and that its “high-performance” SOEN audio tech plays back music, podcasts, and Alexa’s responses with superior clarity for their compactness.
As for the aforementioned LEDs, they sit behind the Instinct’s rocker-style paddle and form an Amazon Echo-style light ring and night-light, both of which can be adjusted via a physical switch or through the Alexa companion app for iOS and Android. And since the Instinct features nearly the full Alexa experience (minus music streaming services other than those from Amazon Prime Music and Spotify at launch), it supports Routines that orchestrate other smart home devices, plus Amazon’s ESP feature, which make it so that only the Alexa device closest to you responds to your command.
In addition, the Instinct works with the over 90,000 third-party voice apps in the Alexa Skills Store and delivers personalized weather and traffic updates, news, notifications, measurement conversions, step-by-step recipes, and more. Additionally, it can be grouped with other compatible Alexa devices for synchronized music playback throughout the home.
The Instinct is available starting today from Amazon, where it slots in at a price point far higher than Alexa-enabled switches like the Ecobee Switch+ ($39). Still, considering all the extras packed in, it offers reasonable bang for your buck.
Despite the ubiquity of smart home devices, the market shows no sign of losing steam. Research firm Markets and Markets estimates it will hit $151.4 billion by 2024, coinciding with a rise in the number of devices that provide voice assistant access to over 1 billion.