WeMo Baby Monitor Keeps Tabs on Your Newborn via iOS App

New Baby in the House? Audio Monitoring Via iOS AppBringing a new baby home, especially if it is your first, is always an exciting — but nerve-wracking — experience. First, you have to figure out the car seat to even get the baby in the car. Then, once home, you often have to deal with a lot of well-wishers who, while they mean well, just add to the confusion of what to do next.

My daughter is expecting her second baby in April. With the first, she used an intercom TV system to monitor the baby in her nursery. However, with this new baby, she is planning on having him sleep in a room downstairs while she sleeps and works upstairs. Yes, she could probably get away with using the same system she did with her first, but that would mean having to maneuver multiple units between the two levels. This is difficult since she works from home and has to be in her office for a considerable amount of time.

To address her situation and those in like situations, the folks over at Belkin have come up with a product that could make monitoring a new baby a lot easier. The new device is designed to monitor audio sounds, such as when a baby cries, and then alert a parent or babysitter that the child may be in distress. What makes this audio system different is that the receiver is an application that installs on your Apple iPhone, iPod, or iPad. For my daughter, who makes her living using the phone, this would be perfect since she wouldn’t have to worry about clicking on another device in order to check on the baby.

Belkin calls its new device the WeMo Baby Monitor, which works by conveniently connecting to your wireless network via your home router. Then, after connecting the transmitter to your network, you simply need to download the free application onto your Apple device to start monitoring your baby. Once this is done, simply keep your Apple device near you and you are free to complete your household chores, gardening projects, or work in your garage knowing that if your baby needs you, you will hear the crying sounds right from your Apple device.

When my children were little, my wife had a crib, bassinet, bouncy seat, or whatever in every room so she could always monitor them. For our daughter, who is a great mom, there is no way that she could perform her job and do this. For her, the biggest advantage of the WeMo phone device is that it will give her the ability to listen for her baby crying while still doing her job. For other moms or dads out there, it could be that they would just appreciate the fact that they wouldn’t need to carry additional devices around with them to check up on how their little one is doing.

The disadvantage that I see, however, is that her previous unit had a video display that enabled her to see what the little one was doing. As he or she gets older, this is nice, especially if they develop into climber and tend to want to climb out of their crib. In fact, my daughter is still using the unit I bought, that was equipped with a camera, to keep tabs on her busy three-year-old. However, due to her increasing workload, I believe that she is also planning on purchasing the WeMo Baby Monitor for those hours that she has to spend on the phone; she’ll still use the camera unit when she has discretionary time.

Would I suggest that a new mom or dad have one? As always, it depends on your family dynamics. If you are a parent who works at home, I see great advantages to having this unit. If you tend to work out in your garden or yard, I can also see an advantage since it allows you to keep the monitoring unit in your pocket while your hands are busy. However, personally, I like the ability to see the little one sleeping or moving around so that I can know for certain that they are safe. The decision is yours. If you have already purchased this unit, please comment so that others can know your experienced opinion.

Get your own WeMo Baby Monitor here!

Source and image courtesy of Belkin

How to Run Long Lengths of FireWire Cable

LockerGnome reader Mike asks:

“Are there any secrets to running long lengths of FireWire cable?

Currently, the maximum reliable distance of a single FireWire cable is 15 feet (4.5 meters). Though some retailers carry 10 meter cables, these tend to be unreliable and sketchy at best. I’d recommend using a FireWire hub or repeater to accomplish this task. Using this, you can connect a 4.5 meter FireWire cable to the hub, and another 4.5 meter cable to the other end creating a solid reliable 9 meter connection.

Belkin makes a decent 6-port hub for this in case you want to hook up multiple devices without having to find a separate repeater for each device. The hub acts as a power source for these devices as well, reducing the chance of an issue from an overloaded FireWire port.

FireWire 6-Port Hub

For extremely long distances, you might want to consider a FireWire CAT5 repeater. This kind of repeater uses two separate devices that connect to each other through CAT 5 or 6 cable with ports on either end for a FireWire connection. Your device connects to one of the transceivers which connects to the other through the CAT 5 or 6 cable, and then to your machine using a final FireWire connection. These solutions can come with a price, but if you need to cover serious ground, it may be a worthwhile solution.

Belkin Employee Confirms Paying For Comments

On January 17th, 2009 I wrote an article [here] about allegations that Belkin was paying a comments on their products. Now it appears that Belkin has gone even further than this. In an article over at Gizmodo they have an employee who is spilling the beans on other shady practices. It appears that Belkin also likes to give away products to test that hid flaws for favorable reviews by blogger’s, faked certification logo’s and also paid people to write bad reviews of competitors products.

The article also states that:

To summarize the note, Belkin’s supposedly paid for positive reviews, gave products with custom firmware to reviewers in order to hide bugs, faked certification logos, wrote poor reviews of competitor’s products and backed out of CES for lack of funding. The company’s supposedly in such bad shape that it’s “commonly accepted that current CEO Mark Reynoso is running everything into the ground, while increasing his salary year after year.”

The worst bit, for consumers, is that “the majority of Belkin employees purchased competitors products for home use, even with ours being offered free, as they are of such poor quality.” On the other hand, we’ve had fairly decent experiences with Belkin products, so it’s not as if EVERYTHING they release is bad (assuming this is true). And of course, the majority of Belkin employees aren’t a part of this scheme, and this isn’t an official written policy, but it’s more of a thing that’s forced upon them by management and their particular corporate culture.

Interesting revelation if it fact the statements are true. In a year when we the public are hearing more and more about corporate corruption, thief’s stealing from our wallets, and having to bailout idiots who have destroyed their own companies for their own greedy needs, I would not put it past any company to do these things.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


Is Belkin Cheating On Reviews?

Am I not sure how truthful these reports are, but there are allegations being made that Belkin is paying for favorable reviews on Amazon and Newegg sites. What is strange is that the reviewers are being paid .65 cents for a kind review. Over at CrunchGEAR they stated that:

I just contacted Belkin to confirm but this doesn’t look good. A site called The Daily Background found evidence that Belkin Bizdev guy, Michael Bayard, is paying folks 65 cents to write good things about Belkin routers. Why? I’m not sure. I sure didn’t mind Belkin routers in the first place and 65 cents isn’t a lot of money for a paragraph. Maybe a flat buck or a USB hub instead? Is false praise really that cheap?

Here is one of the requests on the Mechanical Turk:

Positive review writing.

* Use your best possible grammar and write in US English only
* Always give a 100% rating (as high as possible)
* Keep your entry between 25 and 50 words
* Write as if you own the product and are using it
* Tell a story of why you bought it and how you are using it
* Thank the website for making you such a great deal
* Mark any other negative reviews as “not helpful” once you post yours


The link below leads to a product on a website. Read-through the product’s features and write a positive review for it using the guidelines above to the best of your ability. I have also provided the part number for this product and you can click on the links below to see it on several alternative websites. In order to post some reviews you will need to create an account on the site. You can use your own email address or open a new free webmail account (gmail, yahoo…) and use it to post with.

This is interesting since it means that Belkin may be trying to cover up the fact that their routers leave much to be desired. I recently wrote here about the problems I had with a new Belkin wireless router and how it screwed up my Internet and Vonage connection.

So I have a question. Is there anyone else who had problems with Belkin routers? Let us know.

Comments welcome.


Wireless Network System – Knocked Out By Home Theatre System

Where to begin? Last July we moved into a new home with a fairly large living area, and the last thing I wanted to do was struggle with stringing speaker wires for the rear speakers of my home theater system. I had been looking at several Panasonic units in which, at the time, you had to purchase the unit and the rear wireless speakers separately to the tune of about $400. So I had put this on the backburner until after we made the move.

One day the wife, knowing I wanted a Panasonic wireless home theater, mentioned that she was at Wally-World (Wal-Mart) and it had a wireless unit on sale. Sure enough it had the Panasonic SC-HT640 on sale for $249 so I bought it. I hooked it up but what I couldn’t do was to get the TV to play through the home theater system, which was fine, since DVD movies played just fine and surround sound worked great. I should mention that we only watch DVD about twice a month or so.

This past Christmas my son-in-law, who owns his own home theater installation company, came for the holidays and rewired the unit and was able to get the TV to work with surround sound. That evening I went in to check my email only to find that my wireless was down. I have a D-Link D-624 router which had been working flawlessly for well over a year, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to recognize the network. If I hardwired directly into the cable modem, I was able to connect to the Net, so I figured the unit was out and ordered a new one, reconfigured it, and was back up and running. That evening the new unit lost its connection. Now I had two routers not working. Boxed up the new router and returned it, put back the old router and bang, the network came back up.

The next night, no Internet. That was it. Enough. So I went over to Circuit City and bought a Belkin router. Worked perfectly until that night. No wireless again. Then it hit me. I had started using the wireless home theater system with the TV every night since my son-in-law had set it up. Could it be the wireless signal from the home theater system was knocking out the wireless routers? Back out with the old D-Link, which started working again, then over to the home theater system. No network after turning on the wireless home theater system!

In reading the specs on the Panasonic, it uses the same 2.4GHz frequency as most wireless routers. I do recall that there were problems with some wireless phones that also use the 2.4 MHz frequency, knocking out wireless setups and now its wireless home theater systems that need to be added to the list.

Technology – you gotta love it! :-)

[tags]wireless, router, network, D-Link, Belkin, Panasonic[/tags]