iHome: IoT smart plug

One of the first to work with Apple HomeKit the product design of iHome's WiFi controlled smartplug packs plenty of smarts into its tiny form

iHome is a renowned American brand, established in 2005 as a division of SDI Technologies, with over 60 years of consumer electronics innovation. When they came to us in 2014, the audio segment was under pressure due to downwards price trends and the speaker market over-saturated. With the emerging trend of connected consumer electronics, iHome wanted to become one of the first major players on the smart home market. Already selling their products at Apple stores, Walmart, Bestbuy, Bedbath&Beyond and Homedepot, the IoT smart home products were considered as a promising opportunity. Thus, the iHome asked us to tackle the design strategy and product design development of one of the very IoT app-controlled smartplugs on the market; initially developed with Apple for the first launch of Apple HomeKit.

What we didEnvary completely tackled the product design development, including its design strategy, sketch ideation, concept development, usability planning, 3D design development, design refinements and CMF look. The first challenge in the design phase proved to be the design of a compact form factor that would fit on mostly packed US American socket boards and power strips, also addressing problems such as heat dispersion and Wifi signal strength. We explored various home ‘socket’-configurations, assessing different socket layouts and use scenarios, eventually concluding the direction of components as well as the user interface. Our team then developed a cost-effective, yet technologically advanced look The iSP5 Smart Plug was first introduced in 2015 as part of Apple’s official Homekit launch. Throughout 2016 and 2017 it is one of the most affordable home kit-compatible IoT devices available and one of the best selling smartplug on the market (+1000 reviews on Amazon).