The last article on the site written by Ronnie from www.itupdate.com.au discussed the uses of IoT devices and what you can do with them.
I’ve always been amazed by what you can achieve with a computer and the introduction of Belkin’s Wemo devices definitely had me intrigued.
I was looking at Bunnings warehouse one day at the Wemo devices that are just plugged in to a power point and you can turn them on and off with an iPhone app. At that point in time I just thought thats really just a “gimmick” (I was completely wrong, more on that later) – I kept looking and found a device called the Wemo Maker. I picked it up and started reading about what they can do. They can control solenoids. This to me was actually very useful and I immediately began thinking where am I going to use one?
The device cost $149AUD so I got one and took it home, as I got home and opened my garage door using the remote button that’s always played up I thought to myself perfect! The Wemo Maker can control the door as it uses a solenoid (that was within the specs that the Wemo could use) so I went and started wiring it up.
When you initially turn on a Wemo device you configure it using an app so that it connects to your home network and not just the standard Wemo network it creates when first powered up. This setup was incredibly simple. Once I’d set up the app and wired the maker in to my door I was good to go. The whole process took less than an hour. I now only need my iPhone to enter my house.
Since this device worked so well I began looking again at other Belkin devices. I ended up needing some timed power points for a lighting project that we did at home (check out www.facebook.com/minmiroadlightshow)
It turns out now Belkin have another product called the Wemo Insight. This was perfect, it not only could be set to be turned on or off via a timer – it also gives you real time information on power that is used and also average power as well. They even give you an estimated cost of electricity for the time they are on. All of a sudden I realised what I thought was a “gimmick” device was actually going to be incredibly useful to me.
After I got the Wemo Insights home (these ones are only $69AUD each) I went through the setup again and got everything configured. I then used the app to set the on/off times and day on/off times. After this I began looking around the app and found that I could also remotely access my Wemo devices. This is useful as you can see the state of the device even if you aren’t home – in my case it meant I could confirm my lighting controllers and light show was actually running without having to be physically at home. Say you’re out and think you turned something off but you weren’t sure. If you have a Wemo you can check and be sure straight from your phone.
That’s not all though. If you are familiar with IFTTT or Nest – Belkin’s Wemo devices can also interface with them. Meaning you’ve got an even greater automation ability to do things like turn a sprinkler on based on the weather, turn on a fan or air conditioning based on temperature.
So if you’re looking to start automating things in your home and want to do it on a low budget definitely check out Belkin’s Wemo range. They are very affordable and very simple to setup and use. Start small – but don’t forget to think big!