Belkin WeMo Stories July 6, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: Belkin WeMo switches from $31, iPad Air 2 $359, Sennheiser Momentum $70, more

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Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive $70, Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD $150more

Amazon Gold Box – up to 38% off Belkin WeMo devices with prices starting at $31 Prime shipped (Reg. $50)

iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 16GB $359 or 64GB $499, iPhone 6/Plus w/ free $150 GC on installment or $70 off w/ 2-yr contract

iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB in Silver: $449 shipped (Orig. $929)

Best Buy 4-Day Sale: 13″ Retina MacBook Pro 256GB $1,350 & 21″ iMac 1TB $1,150 + extra $100 off w/ .edu

Sennheiser Momentum headphones: on-ears $70 (Reg. $80+), over-ears (open-box) $120 (Reg. $170), more

GoPro’s new HERO4 Session waterproof action camera is the size of an ice cube with an iceberg-sized price

Amazon is throwing itself a birthday party so big it’ll make you forget about Black Friday

More new gear from today:

SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive: 32GB $40 (Reg. $80), 64GB $55 (Reg. $120)

Samsung 64GB PRO Class 10 Memory: SDXC $30 shipped (Reg. $46+), microSD $38 shipped (Reg. $47)

Games/Apps: Dragon Age Inquisition $30, Logitech Optical Gaming Mouse $30 (Reg. $70), iOS freebies, more

Daily Deals: CyberPower 1500VA/900-Watt UPS $98, Google Chromecast $25 w/ pick up, more

More deals still alive:

Logitech Master MX Wireless Mouse $87 shipped (Reg. $100)

Apple is giving away free downloads of iOS cooking app Green Kitchen ($5 value)

App Store Free App of the Week: Star Walk 2 goes free for the first time ($3 value)

Bloons Tower Defense 5 for iPhone/iPad goes free (Reg. $3/$5)

App Store promo – Great Games 50% off: Halo Spartan Strike $3 (Reg. $6)more

Readdle launches Scanner Pro 6 for iOS w/ release day pricing: $3 (Reg. $6)

New products & more:

Amazon is now treating its Prime members to extra savings on new/upcoming video game

Belkin WeMo Stories November 26, 2014

holiday gift guide smart home products 2014

I wondered earlier this year whether Apple’s HomeKit system would bring home automation to the masses. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for HomeKit to start bringing smart home technology to your family and friends – and we’ve put together a gift guide covering some of the main products that might bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.

With the right gadgets, they will be able to control lighting, heating, cooking, sound systems … even have their kettle switch on when they walk up to their front door, which will automatically unlock as they approach. Best of all, you can get them in on the smart home action from just $30 …

expand full story

Belkin WeMo Stories November 18, 2014

littleBits introduces its own DIY Smart Home Kit, a look at your options for creating an internet-connected home

 

From 9to5Toys.com:

Home automation possibilities are endless and what our homes will be like in the coming 5, 10 or 15 years is truly unknown. It is a constantly evolving sector of the technology scene that continues to grow each day with every new product announcement. From WeMo to SmartThings, Z-Wave to ZigBee, someone somewhere has something that will satisfy your home automation needs.

The reality is that we are in a time of great change, with internet-connected offerings in nearly every product category, even coffee makers. It’s an industrial revolution happening in your home and with that comes a lot of trial and naturally, error. So how does one choose?

There seems to be two options, one for the basic consumer, which includes your WeMo outlets, Philips Hue, etc. On the flip side you’ve got the open source crowd that wants to tinker and tweak and create their own system, and this is where littleBits comes in. While most of the aforementioned products have structured ecosystems and physical designs, with the ability to communicate via If This Then That (IFTTT) or the like, littleBits has gone to the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

We’ve covered littleBits in the past, with its WiFi-enabled cloudBit that “snaps the internet to anything”, allowing for custom Sonos-esque or Nest-like creations. At first glance its whole line of products feels overwhelming, and would appear to scare off anyone that was not familiar with the goals of littleBits. Today, they’ve expanded that line of Bits with the hopes of fully empowering consumers to create any home automation system that they’d like.

With the $249 Smart Home Kit from littleBits, consumers can get their hands on a 14 module set filled with sensors, LEDs, transmitters and sound triggers. At first glance, it is admittedly a little overwhelming. But once you take the time to dig into the possibilities that littleBits affords users, it is easy to see why its route to home automation can give consumers a massive amount of freedom. Instead of being locked in to an ecosystem, trying to trigger your WeMo when the Nest thermostat says you are home, littleBits is attempting to put all that power in your own hands. With that, comes the need for setup and the required desire to build your own system.

If you don’t know or are not willing to learn how to, then some of those other offerings from WeMo or SmartThings may be better suited for you. If you are into the this level of customization, you’ll want to check out littleBits’ offerings.

The basic setup allows users to specifically configure their system to their own specifications by piecing together individual modules that help trigger different actions. For example, utilizing the USB power module, MP3 player, a speaker and a ‘servo’ you can create a blind-opening-music-playing wakeup system. A number+, USB power, temperature sensor, cloudBit combo will allow you to control your window air conditioner. You get the idea, the possibilities are endless.

littleBits offers the $249 Smart Home Kit for pre-order starting today, with an estimated ship date of early December. Amazon has the entire line of littleBits products, available as full kits or individual pieces.

A good comparison for the littleBits line of products is the recently released Belkin WeMo Maker, which applies many of the same DIY principles to home automation. Although it does not offer some of the customization features, such as an MP3 player or speakers, it does have a more advanced level of hackability within the confines of the WeMo ecosystem.

Ultimately, we end this article where we started it, with consumer choice. Creating a home automation system is both exciting and daunting, and consumers have to make the choice for what is best for them. One positive of the current smart home landscape is the massive amount of choice afforded to consumers. The good news is that this encourages competition, which is good news for anyone considering going this route.

It’s hard to tell when the home automation market will become more focused and universal. Perhaps Apple’s HomeKit will play a role in that development once it is released. But in a world where Google and Samsung are buying interests in this area, a segregated marketplace is likely for the foreseeable future.

Full PR from littleBits:

Belkin WeMo Stories July 9, 2014

Manything video security app gets IFTTT support, can automate control of Nest, Hue, WeMo and more

Comments (5)

While you’ve probably heard of Dropcam (which we like), you may not have heard of Manything – the cloud video service that allows you to use iOS devices as the smart cameras. You might want to check it out now, though, as the app has just added IFTTT support – giving access to a whole new world of automation.

Previously, Manything could use motion-detection to alert you to something moving inside or outside your home and send you an alert plus live video stream, enabling you to check it out remotely. Adding IF This Then That support makes it much more powerful – examples below …  expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Belkin WeMo Stories June 15, 2014

9to5Toys Father’s Day roundup: New MacBook Airs from $650 w/ .EDU, two WeMo switches $70, iTunes 19% off, more

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Best Buy slashes $100 off new MacBook Airs, deals as low as $650 with .EDU email

  • 11.6-inch (MD711LL/B) 1.4Gz/4GB/128GB: $799.99 or $649.99 w/ .EDU (Reg. $899)
  • 11.6-inch (MD712LL/B) 1.4Gz/4GB/256GB: $999.99 or $849.99 w/ .EDU (Reg. $1,099)
  • 13.3-inch (MD760LL/B) 1.4Gz/4GB/128GB: $899.99 or $749.99 w/ .EDU (Reg. $999)
  • 13.3-inch (MD761LL/B) 1.4Gz/4GB/256GB: $1,099.99 or $949.99 w/ .EDU (Reg. $1,199)

2 Pack: Belkin WeMo Light Switch: $70 (Reg. $90)

$80 iTunes gift card for $65: save nearly 20% on future app, music, movie purchases

Get MLB.TV for the rest of the 2014 baseball season for just $50 (orig. $130)

Other new deals:

More deals still alive:

New products/ongoing promotions:

Microsoft/Google/Android:

Belkin WeMo Stories May 27, 2014

Opinion: Will Apple’s Smart Home concept bring home automation to the masses?

Comments (46)

It’s the 21st Century: weren’t we all supposed to be living in automated homes by now? Where we walk in the door after a long day to have our home playing some soothing music, informing us that it’s run us a bath and that dinner will be ready in 45 minutes? Where a robot has done the cleaning, changed the flowers, accepted a parcel that arrived while we were at work and fed the cat?

That dream seems to be a long time coming. I’m a reasonably techy guy who loves the idea of home automation, yet even I only have three examples in my home (which I’ll mention along the way). Most mass-market consumers haven’t even noticed that the products exist, and the few who have tend to view it all as too complicated or fiddly.

If anyone can change that perception, it’s Apple. Which is why the Financial Times report yesterday that Apple is working on a new approach to home automation that may be unveiled at WWDC next week caught my attention …  expand full story

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