This story is part of, where our editors will give you the latest news and the hottest gadgets for the completely virtual CES 2021
Citing their “important steps to remain a leader in the smart home area”.starts 2021 by redesigning the C by GE smart lighting series under the name Cync, with plans to add new devices to the series later this year.
First up is a new outdoor smart plug that is expected to come in March, along with a brand new Cync app to control them. With both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connecting to the phone, the plug has a couple of weather-resistant outlets, which are similar tofrom name as and . Just connect your outdoor lights or anything else you want to automate, and you will be able to turn the power on and off from the app, or with a voice command to Alexa or Google Assistant.
That said, those looking for compatibility with Apple HomeKit – and the included Siri voice controls – should look elsewhere. While some existing C by GE smart lights are able to connect to Siri if you use GE’s C-Reach plug-in hub, the new Cync-smart plugs and other Cync gadgets will not work with that hub or with HomeKit in at all, at least not at launch. If you are a regular Siri user or oneowner, then it is better to invest in something like that , which can be connected to HomeKit right out of the box.
Next to the plug is a new smart indoor camera that is scheduled to hit stores in May. You can mount it on a wall or place it on a tabletop, and then monitor the feed from your Android or iOS device with the recently updated Cync app. If you want, you will be able to subscribe to cloud-based storage of your clips, but you also have the option to save clips locally on an SD card – a nice touch for people who would rather not upload anything at all.
On top of that, you can slide the front of the camera up, which cuts power to the microphone and completely covers the lens. Along with the SD card slot, it is an easy-to-understand, privacy design that can help win over consumers who are reluctant to start bringing cameras into the home.
More new products will follow in the second half of the year. In June, GE Lighting plans to introduce a new Cync smart switch for ceiling fans. Like similar switches on the wall, it allows you to automate the ceiling fan and control the speed using your phone or using voice commands. After that, expect to see a new Cync smart thermostat by the end of the year. You want to control everything in the new Cync app for Android and iOS devices – expect to see that replacing the current C by GE app in March, when the outdoor plug comes.
“This is going to be a really exciting year as we continue to launch innovations that will make the benefits of the smart home more accessible, easy to install and control through a simple app experience,” said Paul Williams, GE Lighting’s CEO of Product. Leadership and growth. “This is an ideal time to develop our C by GE brand Cync, a new brand that best reflects how all our smart home solutions are easily connected and work seamlessly together for a complete smart home experience that can be adapted to the lifestyle of any consumer.”
No word on pricing for any of the new gadgets yet, but we’ll update this space when we learn more.