Quick Look: Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

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Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

The Belkin WeMo Insight isn’t an iPad-specific accessory — its companion app is really designed for the iPhone — but I’ve been using it across both of my iOS devices anyway. The WeMo Insight is part of Belkin’s WeMo suite of home automation accessories, and the Insight works like an AC adapter that allows you to wirelessly switch an attached device on or off.

The Insight does this by logging onto my local Wi-Fi network and cutting or providing power based on incoming network signals. This allows me to control power to a single piece of equipment — be it a lamp, coffee maker, or space heater — with a single tap inside of the WeMo app. That’s already pretty cool, but Belkin went a step further and added support for IFTTT and a set of timed triggers.

I’ve been making use of the timed triggers to turn my space heater on for a few hours every night, as I usually get a little cold while I sleep. This has worked flawlessly, and I’ve woken up toasty warm ever since I installed the WeMo Insight last week. I haven’t tested the IFTTT functionality because I haven’t needed to, but according to Belkin’s website, it’s possible to activate the Insight with texts or emails, as well.

Another interesting feature of the Insight Switch (as opposed to the regular WeMo Switch) is its power-tracking. The Insight is able to tell how long my space heater has been powered on, and it can even estimate how much that energy is costing me per month. These kinds of insights can be really helpful if you’re trying to conserve energy while using power-hungry electronics.

The downside of the WeMo is price: at $60 for a single switch, the Insight is still too pricey for something that I’d want to spread around the house. It’s convenient to have a single Insight switch around, but it would be amazing to have a networked house of lights and coffee makers. I’d gladly shell out $20 for an Insight, or perhaps $30 for a two-pack. It would also be great if the Insight were a bit better at sharing space, as its current design requires it to take the upper-most electric socket on any given AC setup.

Belkin’s WeMo Insight Switch has been a great taste of what home automation could be like, without any of the hassle of significant renovations. I just think the technology needs to get a little cheaper before I really jump on board.

The WeMo Insight Switch was provided by Belkin for review on iPad Insight. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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