WeMo from Belkin – The first Step towards Home Automation

Ever wanted to have your home fitted with gadgets that operate on their own or according to the programming you do to them? Like Lights turn ON at a particular time, your AC turns on if the temperature goes above a certain level or even the security System Turn ON automatically as you leave the house. Modern home security systems can create the protective shield around your house and make use of modern gadgets like drones. For drones usage you should keep in mind that there are certain laws and regulations pertaining to restricted interactions with this type of aircraft.

Home Automation is a huge market above to explode and WeMo from Belkin has put the right leg forward in that direction.

There are three products so far: Wemo Switch (a plug socket), Switch and Motion (a plug socket bundled with a motion detector) and Baby Monitor (a baby monitor you can listen to via 3G as well as wifi).

You need to check this link to get an insight into the best baby monitors in 2019

We are reviewing the Wemo Switch only for now and maybe do the other review in the near future. The Switch along with the Free iPhone app allows you to control the switch manually and even setup rules, what more? You can use IFTTT and use some amazing recipes to control your switch, the Switch is connected to Wi-Fi and take commands from the Internet too. MobileFun was kind enough to send it across to us for a review.

First Looks

The Box is pretty near with all the details on the front section itself, what it does is self explanatory, isn’t it?

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We love the color combination and the packaging of the box and on you open it, you will see the instruction manual and other details.

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You need an iDevice with iOS v5 or higher, a Wi-Fi router and a will to automate your home devices.

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The unit is made up of impact-resistant plastic which looks smart and feels good.

 

The plug socket looks like a slightly oversized overseas adapter plug, with a small LED to indicate wifi activity and a power switch that lights up blue.

 

The unit comes with an instruction card with only four sentences on it, which certainly suggested that it should be easy to setup but left me wondering how easy it was going to be to create rules-based triggers without a user-guide.

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The socket and plugs on both sides are boxed pin, so if you live in a country where there are round connectors, buys some converters before you buy the WeMo Switch.

Setting the WeMo Switch Up

The initial setup takes a lot of patience. It’s a bit confusing with the App as well, but once you understand its working principle its easy.

You connect the WeMo to the power outlet, setup the iOS App, register them on your Wi-Fi network. The WeMo Switch has its own Wi-Fi Network, so connect your iDevices to the Belkin Switch Wi-Fi, tell the switch via your iOS app what Wireless Internet belongs to your house and the WeMo switch connects to your Wi-Fi Network and registered itself as LAN device, now you can connect your iPhone back to your home Wi-Fi and you’re set. The entire setup takes about a minute of so. Even a Non-tech guy can do that, but, yes, it does takes some time to get the jist of it.

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You can name your WeMo device, for example ‘Hall A/C’ and can also assign a photo to them. Just use your iPhone to take a photo of the device it is controlling, or the room it is in, and then choose that photo from your camera-roll. Simple

Controls:

You can control the WeMo Switch via your iDevices on the same Wi-Fi, on 3G and using Automated rules in the App as well as IFTTT.

Manual control is straightforward. The main screen shows you a list of the plug sockets Touch a button to toggle it on/off.

The setup we described earlier with the home automation ideas didn’t just connect your devices to your own WiFi network, it also connected them to the Internet. Yep, you can now control any of your Wemo-connected devices from anywhere in the world, Superb!

You can even assign rules like below

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It isn’t automation if you can’t control your living room A/C whist you’re holidaying in Maldives right? Setup the rules and you’re sorted. You can even use IFTTT recipe or create your own recipe there to control the Switch as you want.

If you’ve never used IFTTT before, give it a try. There are currently 50 “channels” on IFTTT, with everything from Twitter and Facebook to ESPN and weather. You create “recipes” that perform a certain action if a specific trigger is met. For example, I use a recipe that updates my Facebook wall with the URL of every post that I write on The DNetWorks.

There are crazy things you can do with WeMo and IFTTT, for eg. Following instructions at http://www.hickenair.com/heating-installation/, plug an A/C to the WeMo Switch then setup a IFTTT trigger whenever the temperature goes above 30° C or Plug in the lamp to the Switch and Trigger it to switch on the Lamp when it sunsets. Or even use Siri on the iPhone to control the Switch, check out the recipes on the website: https://onqfinancial.com/.

Pretty Slick!

Flaws/Cons: WeMo Switch

So Far it’s a fairytale ride isn’t it? There are some flaws that we encountered with the WeMo Switch

1. It’s too huge, you can’t plug in anything into the adjacent socket.

2. It loses connectivity at times, also when you can socket it appears that it forget the old setup, at times.

3. Quite a few firmware updates, lasts about 15-20 minutes.

4. One switch only works for one product at a time.

5. It’s a bit expensive at £49.99 its a bit expensive.

What we think: WeMo Switch

If you want to play around with the iPhone-controlled home automation but doesn’t have the skills or patience to build their own hardware or write their own apps this is for you.

Our rating for WeMo Switch: 4.5/5

The DNetWorks Team

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