Wednesday, 15 April 2015 17:03

Belkin’s WeMo Maker, Insight Switch and new Home Sensors launch in OZ

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A new era of DIY home automation has arrived in Australia through Belkin’s WeMo Maker, its Insight Switch and Home Sensors, controlled from smartphones or tablets!

Belkin’s WeMo devices have already been part of the modern home automation and Internet of Things revolution, but Belkin is taking things a step further with its new WeMo Maker platform.

WeMo Maker (F7C043) is a ‘build-your-own WeMo solution that enables users to control or monitor any low-voltage electronic device’ from a iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

Available now for $149.95, it lets you control nearly any low-voltage electronic device via smartphone or tablet and free WeMo app, uses triggers from a variety of sensors and works with IFTTT technology for endless customisation and connection to web services and apps.

It offers seamless integration with other WeMo products too - but as you’d expect, you do need a knowledge of electrical wiring, but this isn’t hard to learn and understand.

WeMo Maker’s Australia page is yet to go up, but here’s the link to the US product page (with US pricing, Australian pricing is higher), as well as the FAQ page answering all your questions. 

Andrea Bruno, Belkin’s Senior Product Marketing Manager International for WeMo said: “We believe that WeMo is the ‘on-ramp’ to the internet of things, and will play a key role in connecting consumers to the Internet of Things, and delivering what might otherwise be a complex or daunting situation in a very approachable and cost-effective experience.”

Belkin says the ability to ‘WeMo’ almost anything outside of the existing WeMo devices without having to know how to code will appeal to many Australian DIYers and is at the heart of the WeMo Maker.

It connects to nearly any device controlled with a low-voltage DC switch, allowing users to turn devices on or off or put them on schedules via any smartphone or tablet and the WeMo app.

WeMo Maker also enables users to ‘connect to a wide range of 5V sensors for remote monitoring and automated control via sensor inputs. Sensors that will work with WeMo Maker include light sensors, motion sensors, moisture sensors, temperature sensors, flame sensors, and carbon monoxide sensors, to name a few.’

As noted above, WeMo Maker seamlessly integrates with other WeMo products and also works with IFTTT to connect to a wide variety of Internet services and applications such as email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter.

Bruno said: ”WeMo Maker allows almost anything to be ‘WeMoed’, from a pet feeder or motorised windows to garden sprinkler systems or pool pumps. It brings the Internet of Things to practically any device you can think of, without having to know how to code.”

To demonstrate the versatility and uniqueness of the WeMo Maker, a group of WeMo users were seeded early samples of the Maker to put their creative minds to work. Among the devices created include an elder care alert system, designed to notify caregivers of potential falls or accidents using the WeMo Maker, and an animal deterrent system, which used the WeMo maker to prevent pets from using the porch as a bathroom with a quick spray from a hose.

Bruno added: ”WeMo Maker extends the WeMo ecosystem with a DIY option, and provides fantastic market research opportunities that allow us to see exactly what kind of WeMo devices our users are looking for. We can't wait to see what else Australians will create using the maker.”

Also introduced is the WeMo Insight Switch (F7C029), coming to Australia in July for $99.95.

It is a Wi-Fi enabled compact plug that allows you to control and manage the energy usage and costs of home electronics from anywhere through your iOS or Android device. It also allows you to put your devices on a schedule and receive notifications anytime a connected unit is turned on or off.

WeMo Insight Switch plugs directly into an electrical outlet, and you simply connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. Download the free WeMo app and instantly, you can turn any device plugged into the unit on or off using your iOS or Android device.

It lets you put electronics on a schedule, set them with local sunrise and sunset times, create notifications for device usage, as well as manage the time, energy consumption and costs of specific devices. The Insight Switch also works with IFTTT, an online service that creates triggers using different Internet-based services such as email, weather and social media.

Also coming later this year is Belkin’s range of WeMo home sensors that were showcased at the 2015 International CES.

The range features a window and door sensor, personal keychain sensor, room motion sensor and alarm sensor, with all the WeMo sensors designed to make the entire home smarter, more intuitive and more contextually aware.

So, if technologically advanced and amazingly customisable DIY home automation tickles your digital fancy, you’ll definitely want to be checking out the latest additions to Belkin’s WeMo lineup!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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