I love the idea of a home automation system that means I never have to leave my couch. But I'm not willing to go through all the hassle of knocking down walls and rewiring every room in my house. The folks at Belkin agree, and have come up with the WeMo home automation system that makes bringing your home into the 23rd century dead easy.
In its current form, the system uses a series of motion sensors and power outlet adapters that connect to your home's wireless network. So as a simple example, you can have your TV automatically turn off when there's no one in the living room.
But while it's easy to install, the system offers some very advanced home automation features. Since all the components are tied together through your wireless network, you can selectively turn on lights, or turn off appliances from a smartphone app, from anywhere in the world. The sensors can even be programmed with "if" and "then" parameters, allowing you to specify very specific conditions for when something is turned off or on. They even plan to offer lightbulbs that integrate into your WeMo network, so lights can be controlled without having to completely replace the sockets.
The individual power outlet adapters will sell for $US50 when they're available in May, with the motion sensor coming in at just $US10 more. And by the time they're available Belkin hopes to have other WeMo accessories available to flush out the system's capabilities. [Belkin]