Tuesday , August 14 2018

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Look, we’ll come out and say it — if controlling your crockpot via your smartphone from wherever you happen to be was on your to-do list for 2014, you needn’t wait anymore. Belkin, makers of the WeMo family of remotely controlled light switches, power points and the like, have announced new products at CES 2014, a WeMo-powered crock-pot / slow cooker, WeMo LED lightbulbs, and a DIY kit to add WeMo controls to anything.

I, for one, love a good slow-cooked meal, and anyone who shares this passion will know just how nerve wracking it can be to turn on a slow-cooker and then have to walk away; you can never tell if the evening’s pulled pork is going to turn out okay or not. Well, worry no more. The WeMo Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker, produced by Belkin in partnership with Jarden Consumer Solutions, gives you remote control over your slow-cooker with the following features:

  • Turn on/off, change temperature or time settings from anywhere
  • Receive reminders to check your meal
  • Automatically calculate cook time and process
  • Works with Android and iOS WeMo apps
  • Of course, there’s manual control too.

The WeMo Smart LED bulbs are probably a bit more familiar to home automation enthusiasts, being lightbulbs that you can install in a traditional light socket, and gain the ability to control them remotely through WeMo. These smart little bulbs are easily controlled and come with the following features:

  • Turn them on or off from anywhere you happen to be
  • 60W equivalent, and last up to 23 years
  • Vacation mode to turn lights on/off or dim automatically to simulate someone being home
  • Dim to sleep, allowing a more gradual transition to sleep for bedrooms
  • Warm white light, similar to an incandescent bulb (but drawing less power!)

The DIY kit really is for the enthusiasts, allowing these warriors of home automation to build internet connectivity and control into just about any device controlled with a DC switch, which covers things from motors, sprinkler systems, antennas and more. A range of sensors can also be monitored, and the logic from these built into the WeMo eco-system as well. Imagine having the ability to turn on your sprinkler system if water level in your lawn drops below a certain level. You could do this.

Availability for these cool new products for Australia / New Zealand is yet to be announced, but the new WeMo app (which some of us have been desperately waiting for) is likely to be released in early February for Android and iOS users.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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