Consumer electronics and accessory maker Belkin has just announced the upcoming availability of an update to its WeMo mobile app. This update brings in some new ways to control company's Internet-connected WeMo Light Switch, like simulated occupancy, sunrise/sunset offsets, and long press gestures for IFTTT integration.
Belkin unveiled the WeMo Light Switch early 2013 as its entry into the growing home automation market. While the features of the switch itself and its mobile app are quite basic, integration with the IFTTT ("If-This-Then-That") automation service pretty much makes up for that and more. This update for the WeMo app puts more functionality under owners' fingertips without having to purchase a new light switch.
Stimulated occupancy or away mode is a setting that turns lights on and off at random intervals, making it appear as if someone is at home when actually there is none. This technique is usually employed as a security method and deterrent for theft. Users will soon also be able to set intervals when the switch will turn lights on or off before the actual sunset or sunrise time for their location. This is useful for cases when things get darker or brighter well before the sun rises or sets. And finally, IFTTT users will have a new input condition available to them. A long press of more than 2 seconds on the switch itself, not on the smartphone app, can be used as a trigger for any IFTTT action. Current IFTTT recipes that take advantage of that feature include sending an e-mail or message when the light switch is long pressed, ringing the paired smartphone in case it was misplaced, or simply toggling another WeMo connected device.
The Belkin WeMo update isn't out yet but will soon be available on both Google Play Store and Apple's app store. The Belkin WeMo Light Switch itself is still available for purchase, priced at $49.99, but the app can be downloaded for free.