iPhone Activated Power SwitchThe Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch is quite a cool unit. In essence you plug any item into it that you'd normally plug into a power outlet. You then plug the Belkin into a wall outlet. The Belkin acts as an electronic switch that you can activate from any iPod, iPhone, or similar device.
So imagine this scenario. You're away on vacation and you have your computer turned off. But there's an emergency and you need to access it. A few touches on your iPhone and your computer turns on. Now you can dial in and get to the data. Or maybe you're stuck late at work and don't like the house looking vacant. You hit a button and POOF your livingroom light turns on.
You can also set up schedules, so if you go away on vacation your lights turn on between 6pm and 9pm every night. Sure, there are many other units out there that can do that part. But this one, you can adjust or update on the fly from wherever you are.
I found the unit incredibly easy to use and set up. I followed the instructions and within minutes I was gleefully turning my light on and off with my iTouch. You can even customize the image you associate with each entry so that it's nice and clear exactly what you are turning on and off.
Sure, for some situations this could be frivolous. You could have a bedroom light that's hard to reach from the bed. This way you can easily turn it on and off without getting out of bed.
But let's say you're elderly or have serious mobility issues. Maybe then it could be *really great* that you can get into bed safely with the light on, and then while safely in bed you can hit a button and make that light turn off. Or the TV. Or the light and TV. Any combination of items you want to turn on and off, you can just get the devices for each one to handle it.
One down side is that the unit is fairly large. It's far larger than just one outlet. It would cover both outlets in a standard two-outlet setup. Even on a power strip it would cover a lot of entries. So that is something to take into consideraton.
Still, for many people this will be a godsend. There are so many situations where people need to get something to turn on or off and either can't get to it for mobility reasons or because they're in a different room, location, state, or country. This provides the ideal solution.
I was sent a review copy of this unit by the maker.
Buy the Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch from Amazon.com
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