Vocolinc has issued an update to both their Linkwise app (v2.3.30) and the firmware for their latest smart plug, the SmartBar, to include a rather clever feature. This new function, that is only native to both the LinkWise app and the SmartBar, allows the user to ‘ping’ the plug, and instruct it to turn off for a set amount of time, before turning itself back on again. Now you may wonder exactly what use that could possibly be, but in the world of wifi networks and smart homes, you may need to reboot your router occasionally, if your network, your smart home, or certain devices are not acting as they should.
Unplugging the router is ok, but what if that plug is in a hard to reach position? Surely you can have it connected to a smart plug and turn the plug off via the app. That’s also great, but once the router is off, that plug is now offline because your router is powered down, so you now won’t be able to turn the plug back on, and therefore the router, so you’re stuck.
You could use a Bluetooth Smart plug, like the Eve Energy, that doesn’t rely on your wifi signal of course, but what if you wanted to remotely reboot your router. This could be a problem if you’re not within range of the Bluetooth signal, and once again, you’re stuck.
So, unless your router is in a totally non-responsive state, and you just want to reboot it to remove any errant behaviour, then this ‘pulse’ feature is quite handy. If you’re one of those people that also have an Apple TV being used as a ‘headless’ hub, then this would serve the same function, so whilst it’s a niche feature, it’s nonetheless a very handy one.
If you’re not familiar with the Vocolinc SmartBar, you can check out our review below;
Whether this functionality makes it to their other smart plugs, we’re not certain, but as this is only based on software, there’s no reason why it couldn’t make it to their smart power strips or other smart plugs, like the PM1, PM2, PM2E, PM3 (US)/PM5 (EU).