Take push-button control of HomeKit accessories with Belkin remote [Review]

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Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller review
Press any of the three buttons on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller to activate HomeKit accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You can activate up to six preprogrammed HomeKit scenes or accessories with the push of a button on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller. The palm-size remote sits on a table or hangs on a wall, and lets you easily control HomeKit accessories all over your home. No wiring involved.

I’m fully committed to Apple’s home-automation system, and Belkin’s latest HomeKit gadget fit neatly into my setup. Here’s why.

Belkin’s new remote puts HomeKit at your fingertips

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Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller remote puts HomeKit at your fingertips
The Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller replaces light switches with a much more powerful option.
Photo: Belkin

A wall switch can turn on a light or two, but the Wemo Stage Scene Controller from Belkin can activate an entire scene, controlling lights, thermostats, music and other devices all around the house.

It ties into Apple’s HomeKit home automation system allowing someone to press a single button to launch their movie night scene, or wake their house up in the morning, for example.

Tiny WeMo smart plug makes trying HomeKit so easy [Review]

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Belkin Wemo WiFi Smart Plug review
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug can be your ticket to easy home automation.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Home automation is convenient and even kind of fun. And a smart plug is the easiest way to get started. The redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug from Belkin lets you find out if you really want to be able to control your lights or other appliances from your iPhone, without making a big investment.

A couple of weeks of testing this pint-size HomeKit accessory went into this review. Here’s what I found out.

Belkin’s smallest Wemo HomeKit smart plug hits store shelves

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin on Monday began offering a much smaller version of its Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But the updated version of this smart outlet doesn’t crowd the wall socket nearly so much.

Wemo’s mini HomeKit smart plug is right around the corner

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances later in July.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin began taking pre-orders on Monday for a much smaller version of the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But in a design that doesn’t crowd the wall socket.

Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer adds HomeKit compatibility

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The Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer just got a little smarter thanks to HomeKit compatibility.
The Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer just got a little smarter.
Photo: Belkin

A software update adds native HomeKit compatibility to the Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer today.

The in-wall dimmer switch brings smart lighting capabilities via Apple’s Home app and/or the updated Wemo iOS app. As with other HomeKit devices, you can control the dimmer with your voice via Siri from an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, Apple TV or Mac.

Cloud Crockpot Is Just The First Thing Belkin Wants You To Connect To Net [CES 2014]

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Probably the world's first connected crockpot. Shiny! Credit: Eli Milchman

CES 2014 bug

LAS VEGAS, CES 2014Belkin is really hopping onto this connected-home thing with fiery fervor. They already have a formidable array of Internet-connected devices in their WeMo line — switches, plugs, motion detectors — and now they’ve added light bulbs and a DIY WeMo interface that can be adapted for use with practically anything that’s powered by electricity. Oh, they’ve also just come out with a big, shiny cloud-connected crockpot so you can cook dinner from the office.

Watch, And Control, Your Energy Consumption Like A Hawk With Belkin’s WeMo Insight

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Joining Belkin’s armada of WeMo home-automation devices today is the WeMo Insight Switch. Like the plain-vanilla WeMo Switch, the Insight Switch will let you power on or off whatever is connected to its outlet via the WeMo iOS or Android app. Unlike the regular Switch, the Insight lets you also see exactly how much money you’er spending on juice, and adds more control flexibility.

Jawbone UP Can Make You Coffee When You Wake Up

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Slept in your clothes again? No problem!
Slept in your clothes again? No problem!

 

Jawbone has announced the UP24, a tweaked version of its troubled UP activity-tracking wristband. It’s mostly the same, with a cool futuristic look and $150 price tag. The difference is that it now uses “Bluetooth Smart,” which lets it communicate with your iPhone in real time to send alerts and notifications.

But what’s really interesting is that it now has a rather useful IFTTT channel.