Smart home company Wyze continues its tradition of making every small to medium-sized home appliance under the sun, announcing a slew of new products this week in honor of its fourth birthday.
The most notable are a new smart wall switch, an interesting take on outdoor lighting, and revamped white smart bulbs that can match the sun throughout the day. But what really caught my eye is a new capability coming to its cameras. Using AI, Wyze’s smart security cameras will have the ability to alert a professional monitoring service when they detect a person. That’s one simple and cheap home security system.
Wyze is known for its inexpensive smart home products, but what makes the company stand out is that it doesn’t skimp on the smarts to get those low prices. Its advancements in employing artificial intelligence to run your smart home have been consistently impressive, if not always totally successful.
This security feature, coming as part of a new Cam Plus Pro subscription service (no price has been announced yet), adds a lot of value to Wyze’s already good value smart home cameras (which start at $36). Essentially, it provides an all-in-one home security solution without needing a hub or a litany of sensors around your home. All you need is a Wyze Cam, which you arm or disarm in the app.
Of course, it’s a single-point solution, more suited to a small apartment than a large, single-family home. (Wyze also offers a more traditional, sensor-based security system that costs $5 a month for professional monitoring.) But it points to a possible future of smart home security, one that leverages more advanced technologies than the basic Z-Wave or Zigbee sensors most systems have used for decades to keep tabs on our home.
Origin Wireless has another similarly innovative solution; its Hex Home security system uses Wi-Fi sensing to monitor movement in your home. All you need is two or three of its small pucks plugged into outlets around your home to know someone is creeping around.
Wyze hasn’t released many details around the Cam Plus Pro service yet. We’re still waiting to hear which cameras it will work with, how it will interact with Wyze’s security system, how much it will cost, and when it will be available.
Smart switches, bulbs, and solar panels, too
Other birthday presents from Wyze include the Wyze Switch, a smart switch that can turn both regular bulbs and Wyze bulbs on and off (but no dimming) and control other Wyze devices, such as door locks. You can set double-press, triple-press, or press-and-hold automations, turning this into a smart home controller as well as a light switch.
As with other smart switches, you can set a vacation mode to make it seem like someone is home and set schedules, timers, and automations in the Wyze app. The switch comes in a three-pack for $33 plus shipping, with single packs coming soon. Wyze says the switch works with Alexa, Google, and Apple voice assistants and is compatible with IFTTT.
A single-button, single pole switch that must be wired into your home’s electrical circuit, the Wyze smart switch works on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, requires a neutral wire and can be installed in everything from single gang to four gang setups, but not on 3-way or 4-way circuits.
It works with Wyze’s white smart bulbs (something smart switches don’t always do well), and the bulbs have been upgraded with temperature and brightness control (from the app). The 800-lumen bulbs have a temperature range of 2700K to 6500K and can go from bright white to mellow yellow.
A new Sun Match feature takes advantage of this range by adjusting the color temperature to match the sunlight throughout the day. They work with Alexa or Google for voice control, and the pre-order price is $32 plus shipping for a four-pack.
Another interesting — if not very elegant — lighting innovation is the new Wyze Lamp Socket. This $10 device is designed to work with the wired Wyze Cam v3 (indoor or outdoor) to make your outdoor lights smart. The socket comes with a 30-inch USB cable that connects to the Wyze Cam to provide power to the camera, and the camera’s motion sensor can be set to turn the light on whenever there’s motion.
You can group up to five lamp sockets and set them to come on at dusk and go off at dawn, or on a schedule, alongside the motion activation. The Wyze Lamp Socket works with E26 lights and also comes bundled with a camera for $46 plus shipping.
Paired with the Wyze Cam Plus Pro home monitoring service, a few of these lamp modules connected to cameras around your home’s exterior makes a compelling, inexpensive security solution. I’m looking forward to testing it out.
There’s also a new $20 Wyze Solar Panel to help keep the battery-powered Wyze Outdoor Cam ($60) charged. It comes with a 13-foot micro-USB cable and a 360-degree mount so you can get the perfect sunny angle, regardless of where your camera is. However, it’s IP65 rated, which is weather-resistant, not weather-proof.
Finally, Wyze is bringing a much-requested feature to its users, a Camera Web View where live streams and recorded videos from Wyze Cams can be accessed from a web browser. It will require Wyze’s Cam Plus subscription.
Pre-orders are open now for all new products on Wyze.com, with the company saying shipping is estimated for November and December.