CES 2014: Belkin and Home Automation (Part 2)
Welcome to “part 2″ of our look around CES 2014. This time, it’s home automation. As we’ve previously announced, we’ve added “smarter home automation” a a new section of our website. (Makes sense, after all, home automation could be considered as an expansion that came out of automating home theaters.
Let’s start talking home automation: Belkin was one of my favorite places. I’ve already got some slightly older Belkin (not-as-smart) equipment in my house from a couple years ago, and their gear is only getting smarter. Belkin now has a great many wireless devices and apps that give you smart control. As you can see here, there’s the new WeMo product line. We looked at the first ones two years ago, but they were stand alone, not “smart” enough to talk to a network. BTW, with most of these images, if you click to enlarge, you can read most of the text in the image, and find lots of good info!
With devices such as the WeMo maker, a DIY device you can use to control what you want, you can control everything: lighting, wall plates, pet door, motors, air conditioners, motorized blinds, basically a wide range of appliances… So if you’re one of those tech-y people, you can rig up control of, say, your sprinkler system by tying in a censor and connecting it to your control system.
The full WeMo line-up includes: smart wall switches (to replace those you already have), net cameras for security, smart outlets (plug into regular outlet, or replace existing outlets), motion sensors, and one they call a Wemo Insight switch (motion sensor built in?)
Here are a few images of products from their line:
Belkin also showed embedded smart controls inside of coffee makers (Mr Coffee), a crock pot, and a dehumidifier, all on display. Look for more and more devices to offer enough smarts to work with home networks. Also, Belkin is extending their collection of WiFi routers/hubs and repeaters for the home. Time for me to upgrade to faster wifi! (NOTE: Our upcoming Dream Home Project already uses repeaters for both Wifi, and AT&T cell service).
What really thrilled me is that Belkin is another company that’s really getting into the smart lighting market. They have only white so far but I gathered RGB color smart lights are coming. Since we’re planning to extensively use smart lighting (especially smart colored lighting) in the Dream Home Project, that’s very cool for us. Happy to have found several interesting companies in the space.
Well, there was more than enough Belkin products to do an entire report, let alone a blog, but it’s time to move on. Check out part 3 in our series.