January 10, 2013
| by Grant Clauser
Last year at CES Belkin stepped beyond its assortment of AV and computer accessories to enter a new category, wireless lamp control. The company started with the WeMo plug-in appliance/lamp module and a motion sensor, both of which connect to the home’s Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by an iOS app.
Now Belkin has expanded the line to include wall light switches and security cameras and the promise for much more later on.
The WeMo light switch will replace any standard light switch, though it doesn’t do dimming. Once installed and on the network, users can operate it with Belkin’s WeMo app (iOS now, but Android is coming) in the house or anywhere there’s a web connection. Multiple light switches, in addition to lamp modules, can be operated at once and put on timed schedules. It will be available later this summer for $49.
A 720p resolution Net HD security camera ($149) was also announced at CES. It will work with the WeMo app as well.
Beyond lights and cameras, Belkin has its sights on bringing together many other devices into the WeMo family. A company rep told me that a Wi-Fi thermostat is in the works, and Belkin has already partnered with Jarden, the parent company of Sunbeam, Crock-Pot, Mr. Coffee and Oster, to put WeMo capabilities into kitchen appliances. With a Wi-Fi connection, users will be able to monitor the status of things like crock-pots or remotely turn off or on coffee makers.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.