What makes a socket "smart"?

Havasi Zoltán

A MOHAnet alapítója, IoT szakértő

Bejegyzés dátuma: 2024. 05. 10

We know many devices, but most of us think that the majority cannot be remotely controlled. And if they can, we assume it involves high operational costs. Let me reassure you, this is a misconception.


Before diving into practical examples, it's recommended to understand what makes a socket "smart".


Developers enhanced the socket with a relay that can be controlled via wireless communication technology. Essentially, it's a remote-controlled switch designed to supply or cut off power to devices plugged into the socket. With this technical solution, we can remotely control electrical devices, turning them on or off.


What types of "smart" sockets exist on the market?


In the market of "smart" sockets, you can find solutions based on Bluetooth, Zig-Bee, Z-wave, LoRa, Sigfox, Wifi, and GSM technologies. Their range and accessibility differ based on the communication technology. Bluetooth sockets can typically communicate within a range of 100 meters, thus they can only be controlled from a smartphone within their range. Zig-Bee and Z-wave solutions can communicate within a few hundred meters up to 1 km, and they can communicate with a smart home central unit. LoRa and Sigfox communication can cover countries once the network is fully deployed. This technology heavily depends on the infrastructure and operational practices of network providers, as well as the level of service fees.


On the global market, however, Wifi-based "smart" sockets are the most widespread and easily accessible. If you have a Wifi router and internet subscription at home, you can immediately set up the socket without any further costs. Their price range is very favorable, but they cannot function without accessories. Typically, their application is recommended for establishing a smart home, as Wifi routers and internet subscriptions are readily available there.


However, for a vacation home or a cellar, it's not financially viable to maintain internet service continuously for the operation of 2-3 "smart" sockets. In this case, the GSM-based solution is the most cost-effective.


The GSM-based "smart" socket can operate on both 2G (GPRS) and 4G (LTE) networks. The type of GSM modem in the socket determines this, but in both cases, internet communication is a basic service.


Control of the GSM socket can be done via internet, SMS, or voice call, but since the costs vary, this technology is not widely adopted by users. Nevertheless, only the GSM socket is capable of being deployed anywhere in the world - where there is GSM service - within a few seconds. This is because the GSM socket does not require any other external access or device connection, as is common with Wifi.


Only a SIM card is required for operation, and the majority of socket manufacturers shift the responsibility of obtaining it onto the user, stating that they only manufacture devices, not services.


However, most users do not possess the knowledge or operational experience required for the purchased GSM socket, making it a significant challenge for them to select and purchase the appropriate GSM service. This situation is further exacerbated by the fact that the socket and the related GSM service can only be obtained from independent sales outlets. So, if there is any anomaly during the setup of the GSM socket, where can we turn for help? Due to these user-related reasons, the GSM socket is not very popular, even though it offers much greater freedom and lower operational risk than other technologies.


What makes the "Instant" GSM socket better than a traditional GSM socket?


  • The "Instant" GSM socket comes with both a SIM card and GSM service.
  • The price of GSM service is included in the device price for a specified period (5 years).
  • No separate contract needs to be signed or multi-year commitment made.
  • No other external permission or device connection is required.
  • Setting up the GSM socket requires no technical knowledge.
  • It can be set up by anyone in less than 1 minute.
  • Portable, as the device's communication service is not location-bound.
  • Easily controllable via voice calls from any phone.
  • Its internet application can be run from any smartphone (Android, iOS).
  • Allows for the simultaneous operation and control of multiple sockets through its internet application.
  • The current status and past events can be queried from the internet application.
  • Operable in 97 countries.


Where is it beneficial to use GSM sockets?


  • For remote control of technical equipment in greenhouses
    • For turning on and off irrigation pumps
    • For turning on and off electric heating panels
    • For turning on and off ventilation fans
  • For remotely starting tractors' parking heaters
    • For timed activation
    • For ad hoc activation
  • For turning on and off outdoor sauna cabins
  • For turning on and off Christmas decorative lighting
  • For remote control of technical equipment in vacation homes
    • For controlling submersible pumps or hydrofor (irrigation) systems
    • For timed or ad hoc heating or cooling control
    • For turning on and off garden lighting
  • For disconnecting irons from power
  • For turning on washing machines
  • For disconnecting beverage coolers from power
  • For disconnecting illuminated billboards or information terminals
  • For temperature monitoring in refrigeration rooms



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