Belkin WeMo Home Automation isn’t something new, it has been around in the market since mid Jan 2013. So what am I blogging about it only now? Recently I’ve visited Funan IT Mall and realised that Belkin had actually put in a lot of marketing effort and budget in promoting these devices. So I decided to check out the reviews so far on the Internet. For the uninformed, let me just do a quick introduction of Belkin WeMo Home Automation.
What is Belkin WeMo Home Automation?
Belkin WeMo acts as a simple, fuss-free home automation solution. You plug in the Belkin WeMo Switch to your power socket and plugin your lamp or electrical appliances to the switch. Once you pair the WeMo and your phone over Wi-Fi, you will be able to turn on/off the lamp or electrical appliances remotely (yawnz). Throw in a WeMo Switch + Motion and you can trigger your appliances when the sensor detects motion. Yes, you can configure to schedule to turn on the lamp and send notification when motion sensor is triggered. That’s more or less it.
Reviews so far..
No good. Beside the look, more than half of the reviews I found were no good. Problems reported are as follows:
1. Gizmodo: Tragic Flaw… App cannot detect the switch. Keep asking to register the switch over and over again.. (Source : Gizmodo)
2. 9to5mac : The company needs to do some work on the reliability of the switches. They (the app) randomly lose connectivity at least every few days.. (Source : 9to5mac)
3. ilounge : Functionality not worth the price.. (Source : ilounge)
4. Venturebeat : Feels like an incomplete product.. At its current price, it’s hard to recommend.. (Source: venturebeat)
My take on Belkin WeMo Home Automation?
1. Its a good start but unfortunately every switches need to be connected via wifi. Interference will be a problem especially in wifi crowded Singapore, I wouldn’t want 10 more wifi devices in my house constantly vying for my router’s attention.
2. Not a complete solution. So what if I can turn on and off appliances that are connected? What about wall switches, no automation is complete without that. Hopefully can see that one day (again please, not on wifi).
3. Even if the wall switch option is available, it is not worth the price if you want to automation the entire house. (You can do the comparison by checking out the price list of Z-Wave here) It is cheaper to use Belkin Wemo for automating 2-3 lights but what is the point of doing that?
4. Belkin need to work on the reliability rather than doing so much marketing and promotion. The promoter told me that I need to preorder as its out of stock now. I was quite surprised! Maybe Belkin’s marketing did a good job and there are tons of Singapore users at home saying “wow.. see, I can control a lamp with my iPhone… sometimes”. Obviously they have not seen better (and more value for money) in Z-Wave world.
I admit I may sound biased to Z-Wave again but I’m sure if Belkin WeMo was available when I started researching on home automation, I would still say.. Next Please…
Image Source : ilounge