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WorkinCT: Avon’s iDevices is a piece of Silicon Valley in Connecticut

It started with an idea and an itch to create.

“We really started it with a grilling product, believe it or not. It was a wireless grilling thermometer that connected to the iPhone that I invented,” said Chris Allen, President of iDevices.

That’s when iDevices was founded back in 2009. Ten years later, the innovative products keep coming. The latest is called Instinct.

“It’s really intended to be unique in the sense that it has Alexa built into it, so it’s a light switch at its core with Alexa built into it, so there are two microphones, speakers, so it will play, it will stream music, and you can also do the typical home automation functions like turning on and off lights and controlling lights and setting up scenes in advance,” said Shawn Monteith, Chief Technology Officer for iDevices.

“It’s mostly being driven by builders. They want to differentiate between current inventory, existing homes versus new homes,” said Monteith.

The products are seamlessly integrated into those new homes, just like they are inside the tiny house which sits in the middle of the iDevices building.

“It’s truly what we see as the future of technology, being invisible around you and just speaking into the air, not having to have a puck or tower sitting on a counter or a table next to your bed. It would just be embedded in products like ours,” said Allen.

The designers and engineers making these products all work out of Avon. It was always a Connecticut-based company, but it used to have a building in Silicon Valley before Connecticut-native Allen thought his state provided a better opportunity for the business.

“I think the talent in Connecticut is really second to none. We have tons of smart folks. We offer a great living environment in terms of our communities, and we try to replicate a lot of what Silicon Valley has here at iDevices,” said Allen.

That’s why you’ll see a building in Avon that matches the likes of Apple and Google, complete with beer, food, and activities for employees to enjoy.

“My biggest thing is making sure that somebody comes to work and really loves coming to work each day and enjoys what they’re doing. We offer that in a great environment with great benefit packages for the talent we have,” said Allen.

In 2017, iDevices was acquired by Shelton-based Hubbell, which opened up more opportunities and investment in the company. Allen is hoping to grow iDevices even more with new smart home products centered around your home’s light switch. It will also be looking to bring its software to other Hubbell businesses.

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