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WeMo wants to get smart about water and power consumption

With new sensors in the works, WeMo wants to keep tabs on water and power consumption.

Now playing: Watch this: WeMo has a smart plan for plumbing and power
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Belkin unveiled a host of new WeMo sensors at the Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas, all of them due out later in 2015. The most interesting addition to WeMo's lineup, though, might be coming a little further down the line.

Belkin calls it "Echo technology," and offered CES a sneak peak at what it's capable of along with the rest of the WeMo announcements. Echo is designed to read your water and power consumption -- stick one sensor under your kitchen sink and another in your home's circuit breaker, and Belkin claims that you'll be able to track both utilities right in the WeMo app.

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Ry Crist/CNET

Echo technology is designed to read the "signatures" of everything in your home that uses water or power. That means it's capable of telling when you're running the shower versus running the dishwasher, and capable of distinguishing between all of your electronics, device for device.

Potentially, that could feed a wealth of new information into your smart home's brain. Right now, you could plug a single device into a WeMo Insight Switch to track its power consumption -- Echo technology would be like having an Insight Switch for everything in your home, including hardwired stuff, like lighting.

Belkin

You'd still need separate WeMo Switches to automate individual devices, or to turn them on or off remotely, but doing so based off of insights gleaned from a whole home's worth of consumption data would be a big step forward for Belkin.

Sources tell me that Echo's data likely won't be able to trigger automations at launch, but that's Belkin's eventual goal for the technology. WeMo Power also claims it can monitor for electrical waste, or for devices that may need to be replaced or repaired.

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Belkin

WeMo Water may be even more intriguing, as Belkin doesn't currently offer anything that's capable of monitoring water consumption or detecting leaks. Echo technology promises to do both, thanks to algorithms designed to read your home's plumbing and discern when something isn't right.

Belkin doesn't have any specifics on the pricing or availability of Echo technology just yet -- at the very earliest, it sounds like it would arrive in late 2015. For now at least, it's a pretty compelling glimpse of just how much smarter the smart home might soon become.

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