We?ve all seen that episode of The Simpsons where the house is controlled by the Ultrahouse 3000 - an automated device. Whilst a while ago the idea of having a fully remote controlled house would have seemed an idea that belonged purely in fictional cartoon programmes, it?s now a possibility for the average household.
Since the explosion of smart phones on the market I guess it wasn?t long before the two merged and controlling more than just communication from your smart phone became a reality.
The WeMo Switch + Motion (£59.95) is a kit from Belkin that acts as an entry-level home automation system. The idea is that you can control lights, appliances and more from the palm of your hand and wherever you have a 3G signal on your phone.
Prices vary from the basic WeMo Switch and rising to around £80 for the most complex systems, the WeMo isn?t the cheapest on the market but it is more versatile that simply buying a timer plug adaptor.
Once the app was downloaded onto my phone it was a simple case of plug in and follow the basic instructions, very easy to use with virtual switches that you move on and off.
The device itself is fairly neat and doesn?t look out of place in the home; it?s a lot like those plug in air fresheners where you just don?t notice it. My only issue it that the plug is very bulky; you can?t get another plug in next to it, so technically the device uses two plugs.
It?s saved my skin a few times when I?ve got to work and questioned if my straighteners are turned off! You can also set up the motion sensor and using the ?rules? section of the app you can create a rule that you are notified of any movement detected via a text message.
I?m going to be trialling the device over the next few weeks and will report back on my findings.