You know I’m a fan of the Belkin WeMo system which allows you to remotely control power points or light switches in your home via your mobile phone from anywhere in the world. At CES Belkin have announced two new additions to the WeMo range to make things even easier.
Belkin’s WeMo Light switch is a fully installed change to your home lighting which puts the power of the switch not just on the wall but also in the palm of your hand on your smartphone. I’ve installed several Belkin WeMo light switches and think they are fantastic, however the product has two key limitations. Firstly the wiring in the room must include a “neutral” cable – that’s not common in older homes and adding the cable might not make it worthwhile in terms of cost.
Additionally, it does need installation. An electrician has to remove your old switch and put in your Belkin WeMo light switch. For people who are renting, or who don’t want that cost of installation Belkin have announced at CES a new WeMo smart LED light bulb.
The WeMo brains in this case are in the bulb and an associated power plug, instead of in the wall mounted switch.
So creating a remotely controlled light is as simple as plugging a small unit into a power point, and replacing the bulb in the ceiling.
The coolest part of this is that up to 50 bulbs can be controlled either individually or as a group, using a WeMo link technology that connects each bulb to one another in a chain so the main WeMo power point unit doesn’t have to be within wireless range of the furthest bulb.
Pricing and availability for Australia is not yet available, however we’d expect the starter kit which contains two bulbs to be around the $150 mark.
So your lighting is sorted. What about the cooking? WeMo allows you to plug any appliance into a WeMo switch and control it remotely. Belkin has taken that one step further. They have partnered with US appliance brand Crock-pot to create a Slow Cooker with WeMo connectivity built in. Out of the cooker is just a normal power cord. The WeMo technology is actually within the cooker.
Now with this Crock-pot you can set the slow cooker up to receive not just “on” and “off” commands but also adjust the temperature, cooking time and the status of the unit while you are away. If you’re held back at work you can adjust the cooking to suit your new schedule.
This is just the start, we can expect more appliances such as coffee machines and more to come in the near future.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.