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3rings plug review: The plug that cares

*EDIT – As of 1st March 2019 3rings is no longer in service*

Inevitably, the number of connected devices in the UK is on the rise. This isn’t only due to the cost-effectiveness and efficiency that automating processes can provide, but also because a number of new innovative applications, such as the 3rings plug, are being created.

Some of these applications are designed for our entertainment. However many are designed to make everyday life easier and more effective. That’s the goal for 3rings.

Friends and family mean a lot to us all, so it’s important to know that they’re okay; especially if they’re ill or elderly. The 3rings plug allows you to keep a quiet eye on your loved ones without the need for picking up the phone or sending a text.

3rings was set up and created by Steve Purdham and Gareth Reakes with the aim of taking advantage of the Internet of Things to showcase how connected devices can benefit our society. Their main objective is to assist when it comes to caring for the elderly, especially those who are at risk or in a fragile condition.

Of course, the best way for us to care for elderly relatives is to physically be there or them; but we all understand that sometimes this just isn’t possible. There are a number of reasons why it may not be possible to share a home with elderly relatives, perhaps due to lack of space or maybe they don’t want to leave the surroundings in which they feel comfortable. It’s situations such as these where 3rings can help.

The 3rings plug is essentially an addition to your standard plug socket that allows the electrical current to pass-through; meaning the functionality of your socket won’t be hindered. The clever part where 3rings is concerned is that the technology that’s built into the plug picks up when an electrical current is being passed through it; or more simply, when the electrical device that’s plugged into it is being used.

The concept behind the plug is this; if a current is being passed through the plug at regular intervals, this means your loved one is up and about. This indicates that they’re okay. One of the most important things when it comes to deploying the 3rings plug is to ensure that it’s used in conjunction with an electrical device that is routinely and regularly used. The example given by 3rings themselves is a kettle, which we believe is a great idea.

If the 3rings plug is used alongside your loved ones kettle, each time they decide to make a cup of tea, coffee or need to heat water for any other reason you can be notified. Great, if mum’s been up and made a cup of tea this morning you know that all is well. But what about if mum hasn’t made a cup of tea this morning?

This is the clever part. Using the 3rings dashboard and application (that are linked to your 3rings account), you can set different parameters for alerts when an event hasn’t occurred. For instance, if you expect Mum to make a cup of tea between 6am-8am you can set these parameters. So, if the kettle isn’t used between these times then 3rings will alert you via the free an app on your smartphone.

The application allows you to respond to the alert to let others know that you’re dealing with it. You can then subsequently call Mum to check if she’s okay and then let all others concerned know via the app.

Here’s a short video which helps explain how the 3rings plug works

Setting up the 3rings plug is fairly simple and can be done at your own home before being implemented elsewhere. You need to download the 3rings app to your smartphone and create an account; at which point you can then enter the activation code for your plug. The activation code is printed on the plug itself.

Details of events, such as when the early morning brew is expected to take place; with start and end times as well as frequency for monitoring purposes will then need to be outlined. You can then decide whether notifications should be delivered to the concerned relative via email, text or an automated message. Once this has been completed the 3rings plug can then be set up in its desired location.

One of our favourite things about the 3rings plug is that it requires no Wi-Fi connection in order to work. This comes in extremely handy as many of the older generation don’t have a Wi-Fi connection in their homes.

If you’d like to know more about how the 3rings plug operates without a Wi-Fi connection then please get in touch.

Something else that we thought was great about this product is the fact that you can try before you buy. And unlike many ‘free’ trials that you’re automatically registered for once the trial period is over, 3rings trial is genuinely no strings attached. Once your trial period has ended you’ll be contacted by 3rings and given the opportunity to return the product. They’ll even send you out some pre-paid packaging to return it in.

3rings plug pricing

Pricewise the 3rings plug is comes with a fair price tag and minimal subscription charge. There are a number of options that you can check out here…..

Overall the 3rings plug is a great piece of technology. The most useful/impressive thing is its flexibility, simplicity and back-end dashboard. By allowing us to create time parameters and custom alerts, 3rings gives us the perfect solution to help care for elderly friends and family.