It’s a busy, busy morning (and evening in most cases) for approximately 75% – 80% of the population as we struggle to juggle breakfast, get the kids dressed, pack lunch, grab the research for that big meeting, top off the caffeine, and then get everyone out the door on time (okay… sometimes not quite on time… but we DO try). So, you’re halfway to work (daycare? Dropping the kiddo’s at school?) and the sudden thought hits you… “OMG! I didn’t turn the stove off!” Well, you can now turn around and rush right back to the house to double check the stove or hope you’re mistaken and get to work. But… what if you could check and control your appliances from anywhere? Now, we don’t mean your music, home lights, cameras, drapes or air conditioner/heater (HVAC). We got that covered with a variety of automation system options. We’re talking about the stove, your computer (or the kiddo’s?), that electric heater, or heating blanket you like to plug in on those chilly nights (yea, we’re guilty of that too. No one likes frosty toes!).

The Smart Power Strip developed by Roger Yiu lets you power on and off any device you can plug into a conventional wall outlet. The team at Smart Power Strip has reinvented the traditional power bar. This is truly a revolutionary product. There are “smart power strips” on the market now (Like this one by BitsLTD), but this is the first we’ve seen that can be controlled outside of your WiFi zone. When using the Smart Power Strip developed by Yiu, you have the ability to control and monitor all of your household appliances from your smartphone wherever you may be. We have all been in the situation where we leave the house and wonder “Did I turn the Television off?” Or our most common fear of leaving the stove on. This product allows you to leave your house with peace of mind. If you are unsure if you have left an appliance on, you can simply access the Smart Power Strip application through your smartphone, check what has been left on and turn it off with a simple click of a button. You can also set up alerts as to what is turned on when — useful for regulating your kids’ TV or game time, especially since you can turn anything on or off, on the go. Anyone who has left the house wondering if they’ve left the light on (or worse the iron, oven, etc) can see a benefit in being able to turn to their phone and turn it off remotely.

While this is a nifty little gadget you can’t just walk into Fry’s and purchase one yet. The team at Smart Power Strip currently has a working prototype and are in the final stages of software development. Currently on they are seeking backers to prepare for mass production. Smart Power Strip was a finalist of 2013 Engadget’s Insert Coin New Challengers competition. Though they didn’t walk away with the prize money, they created quite a stir. Yiu told Engadget that he planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign after the weekend, regardless of the competition’s results – Within 24 hours of posting the project on he had already reached 10% of his projected total. In 14 days he has already surpassed the 50% mark.

We can’t say what will happen for sure, but it sure would be interesting to see this automation gadget under our Christmas tree next year!