While ultra high definition TVs are heading to homes in the near future, a little closer to home – and the pay packet of the average person – will be the ability to make any appliance in your home controllable from a smartphone or tablet.
Compatible with a range of household appliances, the WeMo is a modular wireless device that allows you to operate and control devices such as your air conditioner, TV, or computer setup from afar, switching them on and off using either an iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone app, or by using motion sensing.
“Until now, home automation technology has either been too complicated or too expensive for consumers,” said Belkin’s Brendan Sparks. “WeMo bridges that gap by using a plug-and-play solution for controlling appliances remotely.”
Two options are available for the solution, with the basic WeMo Switch a single power point that can be connected to a wireless network for control in and out of the house. Schedules can be created for the device, or alternatively, you can login using the iOS app from home, the office, or anywhere, and turn devices connected to the powerpoint on and off.
The second option is like the first, but also includes a motion sensor with 120 degrees of motion sensitivity, and making it possible for you to walk into your home and have an appliance suddenly switch on.
Android users sadly aren’t yet catered for on WeMo, with Belkin saying that the platform is iOS only at this time.
Belkin has also designed the WeMo to integrate a web platform called “IFTTT” which can automate actions when you setup specific rules, such as the ability to have your home appliance email you when it switches on or if motion is sensed.
“With these two simple devices and the free Wemo app, you can create a variety of tasks or recipes,” said Mr. Sparks. “The powerful combination of WeMo and IFTTT provides endless possibilities of what you can customise and control throughout your home.”
You’ll probably hear more from Belkin about its WeMo in the future, as a baby monitor version of the device has already grabbed a CES Innovation Award for next year, and will probably hit Australian markets some time in 2013.
For now, pricing for WeMo in Australia starts at $59.95 for the basic switch, while the WeMo with motion switch tacks on a little more and brings the price to $119.95. Both options are heading to stores now and should be available later this week.