You might not think of TP-Link when it comes to the smart home — after all, other brands are splashier and offer more exciting gadgets. But the company known best for its routers also has a Kasa lineup of connected home accessories, which is a good deal and well-reviewed, too. I’m a big fan of TP-Link’s Kasa Spot Cam, and I still use it to watch over my stuff.
I’m confused, then, as to why TP-Link is launching another brand of smart home stuff at CES 2022. The new line is called Tapo, and it includes everything from a security system with motion sensors to new security cameras and light strips.
Tapo’s various products will work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant’s voice commands. But the real kicker is that Tapo will also work natively with Apple HomeKit, which TP-Link’s smart home products historically have not. CES 2022 is likely to help bring more options to current HomeKit users, like these Tapo devices.
TP-Link’s Kasa accessories technically worked with HomeKit devices but required some setup beforehand through other means. For instance, the Kasa Smart Plug Mini, one of the cheapest devices you can buy, does not have support for HomeKit. But proficient tinkerers have set up Raspberry Pi-based hubs like Homebridge to add HomeKit-like functionality.
Anyway, no one wants to go through all that trouble to control their smart plugs. The news of Apple HomeKit compatibility is bound to provide a little relief to those who have been complaining about the lack of HomeKit support for TP-Link’s accessories over the years. Hopefully the Tapo line will be just as good — and affordable — as the Kasa one.
TP-Link says the Tapo lineup will “target multiple smart home categories,” which might explain why the launch includes devices…from many different categories. There’s a pan-and-tilt camera with a physical lens cover, a floodlight camera with a 2500 lumens floodlight, and two new outdoor security cameras, including one that’s battery-powered. Additionally, Tapo is launching a mini smart plug, a smart dimmer switch, and a wall power strip, as well as a new smart bulb and multicolor light strip.
Tapo will also offer a do-it-yourself security kit through its smart hub. The Tapo H100 Smart IoT Hub is available with a smart motion sensor and smart window/door sensor to create your home security grid. There’s a 90-decibel alarm built into the smart hub, plus a sold separately smart button available for easy triggering of devices. You can customise each accessory’s respective action and trigger through the Tapo mobile app.
There is no confirmed date for when we’ll see the Tapo devices launch, but TP-Link says they should become available throughout 2022.