Oh Orvibo how I wanted to hate you! I bought you on a whim after being bitterly disappointed with market leaders, TPLInk Smart Plug, offering.  I'd never heard of your company and you looked like a Posh piece of Lego (I bought the Red One).  Your packaging screamed out with it's slick styling promising things like ease of use and simple setup, I've been here before I think to myself, bet it's crap.

My Smart Home is fully Alexa enabled, that means I use voice control with Amazon's Echo and Dot products around my home to control my lights (Philips Hue), my Home Cinema (Logitech Harmony) and my sound system (currently Sonos).  I'm looking for an easy to use smart plug so that I can add some fans to my current setup, initially in the Lounge - The plan is to be able to control it with a simple "Alexa turn Fan off".

Step 1.

Once you have the app on your phone you simply choose to add a product, scroll down to Socket and choose the S31 model (it says US but is 220v-240v).

Download the HomeMate app and create account, this was available on the app store and called exactly what it was supposed to. No surprises here, still there shouldn't be *Cough* looking at you TPLink.

Step 2.

Next we plug in the S31 smart socket into an electrical outlet, and then hold and press the button on the top of the plug for 6 seconds, it starts to flash.  Once it starts flashing you press the Next on your phone and it will ask you for your wifi password.


Once you've entered the password the app will add the Smart Socket and you will be asked to name the socket. In my case I chose to call it simply "Fan" I wanted to make sure that on this initial test run it was as simple as possible for Alexa.

Eventually the aim will be to have all the fans powered by smart sockets and then be able to ask Alexa to turn the Lounge one or bedroom ones on or off, I could also group them and get Alexa to turn on and off all the fans at once.  If I get clever I can put a thermostat in and get them to come on automatically when it gets to a certain temperature.

Step 3.

Now so far this has been a breeze.  Within the app I now have my fan socket, I can set up timers and countdowns and name modes so that the plug can open and close at set times.  I don't do any of this as I just want to make sure that the plug is working as it should and I can control it over the network.

Pressing the fan button takes me to a screen with a large power button and access to those timers again.  Press the large power button and the fan comes on, it feels almost instantaneous but I'd guess there is a 0.2 second delay or so.  As soon as it turns on you are presented with a real time power draw, my fan seems to draw around 42.1 Watts, which sounds about right.

So all of this works, works great in fact, I'm secretly impressed but let's see how nicely it plays with Alexa.

Step 4.

I should be able to ask Alexa to discover devices but instead I'd like to use my PC, I want to see what Alexa thinks it actually sees.  You can access your Alexa by typing http://alexa.amazon.com/spa/index.html into a web browser, you will be asked for your Amazon password etc...

Next I search for the HomeMate skill and enable it.  You will then link your Amazon account to the HomeMate account. Once you've done this you will be prompted to discover devices.  It discovered the Orvibo device first time, it's called exactly what I named it.

Step 5.

Ask Alexa "Turn Fan On"....

Success, response is almost instantaneous, maybe 0.3 seconds. I don't have to do anything else, this is exactly what I have been looking for.  It's been an incredibly simple process, I was done start to finish within maybe 5-10 minutes.  I had to go back to take screenshots.

I'm impressed, If Orvibo can continue to come out with designs like this, that work as simply as this does, then they're definitely a company to keep an eye on.

Step 6.

Buy some more...

Seriously I just ordered another two, one for my kitchen fan and one for my coffee machine. Great Product.