Belkin has introduced another member of its growing WeMo home automation hardware lineup, the WeMo Light Switch. This $49.99 contraption replaces a regular light switch in the home (installation — and all the caveats therein — is up to you), and enables remote usability and scheduling using an iOS or Android 4.0 device.
Ohad Zeira, Belkin’s director of product management, said in a press release that users find home automation to be extremely daunting. “The Light Switch was the most requested new product by loyal WeMo users, and we are happy to offer another product that delivers the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can control and monitor your home from wherever you are, whenever you want.”
Belkin already offers a WeMo-branded baby monitor and a range of motion- and remote-controlled power sockets, so the light switch was a natural frontier to challenge next. Basic utility includes using the smartphone app, new for Android and improved on iOS, to monitor light status, schedule when a circuit should be opened or closed or, using If This Then That, use triggers to determine the best times.
For example, IFTTT, a web- and iOS-based productivity platform, allows you to connect to WeMo and schedule your lights to turn off when the sun rises, or on when the sun sets. You can use Foursquare to determine when a light turns on by setting it to monitor when you check in at home, or use IFTTT to log electricity usage with Google Calendar.
Belkin has added Android support for its WeMo platform as of today, allowing users running Ice Cream Sandwich and above to control any of the three product lines. The iOS app will be updated with WeMo Light Switch support in due time.
Home automation is a growing trend being tackled by startups, since the proliferation of smartphones have made it easy to remotely monitor conditions in the home, from temperature to electricity usage to baby monitoring.