Wyze expands low-cost smart home lineup with new $15/pair connected wall plugs

(Wyze Photo)

Wyze, the Kirkland, Wash.-based maker of a popular low-cost smart home camera, is expanding its product line with a new connected wall plug.

The smart plug, which sell for $15 a pair, connects to the Wyze mobile app and lets users control the power of their devices. It works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Wyze’s home security cameras and sensors. There’s a scheduling feature and a vacation mode that turns devices on and off at random.

Wyze has built a name for itself by selling smart home devices at low cost. For example, its flagship WyzeCam sells for $19.99, far below Amazon’s $119.99 Cloud Cam.

The difference isn’t as stark for the wall plug. There are a number of competing products on the market already at similar price points. Amazon sells its own smart wall plug for $25.

Pre-orders start today and early shipments begin August 10. Wyze’s website “could barely handle” traffic on Tuesday after the announcement, causing the company to use a virtual queue.

Wyze was founded by Amazon veterans Yun Zhang, Dave Crosby, Elana Fishman and Dongsheng Song in 2017. They ended up competing with their former employer when they released the flagship WyzeCam. Since then, Wyze released a series of low-cost cameras, sensors, light bulbs and accessories to set up outdoor systems. Earlier this month it rolled out a new person recognition feature for its security camera thanks to a partnership with fellow Seattle startup Xnor.ai.

Wyze raised a $20 million funding round earlier this year and has more than 1 million users. In a GeekWire Startup Spotlight in September 2017, Zhang, the company’s CEO, said, “Just like Amazon, we operate on a low margin, high volume, high efficiency, customer-centric and value-driven business model. We believe as long as we focus on value and efficiency and always strive to provide the best customer experience that we can, the business will succeed in the long term.”

Fishman appeared on an episode of GeekWire’s “Elevator Pitch” series this past summer and said at the time that the company had “sold over a quarter-million units in less than six months.”

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