Last year, if you recall, Belkin announced a partnership with Jarden (the company behind brands like Mr. Coffee, Sunbeam and Crock-Pot), promising we'd eventually see kitchen appliances with Belkin's WeMo home automation control built in. Now, at CES 2014, Belkin finally has a real product to show for it: The company just announced the Crock-Pot WeMo Slow Cooker (how's that for a name?). Being a smart product and all, you can use the WeMo app for iOS or Android to remotely turn it on or off, adjust the temperature or change the time settings. You can also receive reminders so that you don't let it sit too long. Look for it to ship this spring for $100, with an air purifier, space heater and coffee maker to follow later this year.
Additionally, Belkin introduced the WeMo Smart LED Bulb, a dimmable light that can be controlled remotely using the same WeMo app you'd use to control the slow cooker. In particular, you can control the bulbs individually or in groups, and also set them to dim as you sleep and wake up. Once it goes on sale this spring, you'll need to shell out $130 for the starter kit, which includes two bulbs (60W-equivalent) and a bridge that plugs into an outlet. Thereafter, the lights cost $40 apiece and are said to last up to 23 years. Also, the bridge can connect to up to 50 bulbs, so odds are you'll never have to buy another. Last up, there's the WeMo Maker kit, which lets modders manage anything with a simple DC switch -- gates, garage doors, blinds, AC units, you name it. That will also arrive this spring, but no word on price.
Belkin WeMo Smart LED Lighting
Crock-Pot WeMo Slow Cooker and WeMo Smart LED Bulbs
Wrapping all this stuff together is an improved mobile app, which lets you control all your WeMo home-automated devices remotely. New in this edition is the ability to simulate occupancy, Home Alone-style, so that the lights come on at a certain time, making it seem like someone's home. If you're hip to the ways of If This Then That (IFTTT), you can set your lights to go on at sunset each day and turn off at sunrise -- with that time changing as the days get shorter and longer. If you already own some WeMo gear, you'll need to wait for February for the app update to roll out, but it should at least arrive before all those new products Belkin is showing off this week.