Belkin launched its WeMo home automation brand two years ago at CES 2013 with just a handful of Wi-Fi devices. The ecosystem has grown dramatically since then, culminating in today’s announcement of a bevy of sensors that fills many of the gaps sought by home automators. But unlike most Zigbee or Z-wave networks, a home fitted with WeMo devices can be sure of single vendor compatibility. Belkin’s WeMo Link device acts to bridge the Zigbee sensors to the home’s wireless network. Slowly but surely, the battle for home automation is boiling down to WeMo vs. Wink.
Slowly but surely, the battle for home automation is boiling down to WeMo vs. Wink
The list of new WeMo sensors includes magnetic window and door sensors, a personal keychain sensor that can track a person’s entry or exit from the home, a room motion sensor, and an alarm sensor that sends a notification to smartphones if it detects the siren of an existing security alarm. There’s even a water sensor that Belkin claims provides "unprecedented insight" into household water usage from a single sensor that measures pressure change vibrations caused by faucets turning or toilets flushing.
Each sensor lasts about a year on battery and can be used to trigger other WeMo devices, like tripping a motion sensor lights a WeMo Smart LED bulb, or tripping a window sensor can send an alert to a home owner’s smartphone while on vacation.
The WeMo Sensors should hit retail sometime in the second half of 2015 although pricing is still undetermined. WeMo Water is currently in field trials and an availability date has not been decided.