Belkin announced a new WeMo product last week that's similar to the existing WeMo Switch but with a pretty big twist. It's called the WeMo Insight Switch and it will set you back $10 more than Belkin's current WeMo Switch.
So what does the Insight Switch give you for your extra $10? The existing $49 WeMo Switch allows you to turn your electronics on and off and program them remotely via the WeMo app. For the most part, the WeMo Insight Switch does the same thing. You can turn your gadgets on and off and set schedules using the Android and iOS WeMo app. It's also IFTTT-compatible for increased customizability.
The difference is the Insight version is capable of tracking the energy consumption of the device you're using and estimating the cost of operating it throughout the day. So if you want to see roughly how much it's costing you to run your washer, you can hook up an Insight Switch and learn a lot more about your usage habits. Taking consumption down to the level of individual appliances might help you get a grasp on where you can save money.
We've tested the WeMo app on other Belkin home automation products and it's extremely easy to use. Hopefully we'll be able to say the same here. When you connect an Insight Switch to the WeMo app, Belkin says you will receive custom notifications that tell you how long your device has been running and the amount of power it uses in watts, and give you a cost estimate.
The WeMo Insight Switch also looks more efficiently designed than the WeMo Switch. It doesn't have that clunky, oversize design that obstructs other outlets when you plug it into a power strip or the bottom outlet of a dual power outlet; Belkin seems to have taken care of that with the Insight Switch and we're glad. The Insight Switch is a definite design upgrade.
The Insight Switch won't be available until November, so you have time to decide if this type of home automation product makes sense for your home. But here's the gist: if you've ever wondered how much power individual electronic devices use and the estimated cost of that usage, this $59 switch might suit your needs. If you are just interested in scheduling your gadgets to turn on and off remotely, you might prefer the existing $49 switch. Still torn? Don't worry. We'll be bringing you a full review of Belkin's Insight Switch in no time.