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Gadgets - Oct 31, 2017

Remote control: Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug

Turn lights, appliances and more on and off with your mobile device or your voice

Wouldn’t it be great if your smartphone could turn on and off the electrical items in your home that don’t have Wi-Fi connectivity?

That’s exactly the point of the Wemo Mini Smart Plug. It works with an app on your phone or tablet to wirelessly control lamps, heaters, fans, small kitchen appliances, curling irons and other objects that are plugged in over your home’s Wi-Fi network. Switch things on and off from your cozy spot on the couch or from the other side of the planet, no hub or home-automation service required. Pretty convenient, huh?

Wemo Mini works with any standard electrical outlet. Plug it in, plug in a device and turn it on and off with the free Wemo app (available for iOS 9 or higher and Android 4.1 or higher). The plug is compact enough that it won’t block other sockets, and you can even stack a pair of Wemo Minis in one outlet.

With the Wemo app, you can set automatic schedules for each smart plug. Turn on your coffee maker each morning, or sync your lamps to sunset and sunrise. Taking a trip? You can make it appear that you’re at home. Just set your smart plugs to “Away Mode” and they’ll turn plugged-in lights on and off randomly. With multiple Wemo Minis, you can also program custom combinations – say, turning on your bedroom lights and your coffee maker at the same time.

Wemo Mini also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice control. Just say the word and devices like Google Home and Google Home Mini can control lights, appliances or all the plugs in a room. If you have a Nest Thermostat, pair it with your plugs to automatically control fans and save energy when no one’s home.

Limited-time offer: from November 1 to 30, get Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug for just $40 – that’s a discount of 20% off the MSRP of $50. Available at Rogers and Fido stores, and on rogers.com and fido.ca. Visit rogers.com for more details.