There’s been so much buzz about the Belkin WeMo since its launch last year, and it’s not surprising: this genius eco-friendly device saves you money, electricity, and even a little sanity if, like me, you’re the type who panics that you left the space heater on before you left the house. But now there’s a next generation WeMo device that takes it to a new level.
While the Belkin WeMo allows you to turn and off any appliance or plugged-in gadget remotely (it’s so so awesome turning on a heater or upstairs light before you actually get home) the WeMo Switch + Motion adds motion activation to the possibilities.
Essentially you plug it in, and the small sensor (it’s not much bigger than a golf ball) will know if there’s movement within about a 10-foot perimeter. Based on the preferences you set up, it will then either turn a device on or off, or it can be set to activate at a particular time–say you want the self-cleaning litter box never ever to turn on between 10PM and 7AM. Ahem.
Setting the WeMo up could not be simpler–and this, from someone who puts off setting up gadgets for fear it will take forever). You plug it into an outlet, download the free WeMo App for iOS, connect the WeMo Wifi to your own WiFi, and pretty much go. You don’t even have to be on your WiFi network to use it; any internet connection anywhere will do.
I really like that you can also opt to upload thumbnails of your devices if you’ve got more than one set up (see photo above), so it’s easy to know just what you’re controlling.
Imagine the possibilities: the porch lights can come on when you get near the front door. The coffee maker can start brewing when you first step into the kitchen. A nightlight can turn on when your daughter walks into the bathroom at night. Plus you get the standard on/off options of the original WeMo.
You can even get a text to your cell phone any time the WeMo is activated. Say that garage light goes on when you’re out of town?
A few caveats: there is about a 6 foot cord, but that doesn’t mean you want to be tripping all over your sensor wire in the middle of a room; try to keep it up on a shelf or near a wall. Also, the outlet switches themselves take up quite a bit of room, especially if you’re using the Switch + Motion which requires two of them. A powerstrip with more width between outlets like the Socket Sense Expandable Surge Protector will be a huge help.