Belkin has revealed that the Wemo smart home devices and accessories will support Apple HomeKit beginning later in the year. This comes as Belkin launched the latest HomeKit Wemo Bridge which will allow all devices by Wemo that are currently being sold to interact with the HomeKit setup.
Consequently it will be possible to control by voice the switches, plugs and lights made by Wemo through Siri. It will also be possible to control the devices and accessories manually via the Apple Home app of iOS 10. Belkin said the company’s move to support HomeKit was motivated by consumer demand.
“Wemo is offering this bridge to address the overwhelming request from customers to make currently installed Wemo products work with HomeKit and other HomeKit compatible products,” said the chief technology officer of Belkin, Brian Van Harlingen.
This was a sharp departure from a decision the company had previously made that it wouldn’t bother offering support for the tightly controlled ecosystem of Apple. Just like with other smart home product manufacturers have pointed out, the problem is the insistence by Apple that all products that seek support for HomeKit must have Apple’s own special chip added in order for them to work.
The HomeKit Wemo bridge will become available for sale starting in fall though the price hasn’t been confirmed yet. The bridge’s method of connection to the home’s Wi-Fi router is through an Ethernet cable and from there the bridge is able to make use of the Wi-Fi signal to stay in communication with the Wemo devices that are in range. It is also able to stay in communication with iOS devices that are available on the network and thereby allowing the interoperability of products via HomeKit.
Just like in the case of bridges that originate from other accessory makers of HomeKit, Apple’s Home app will show all the Wemo accessories independently despite the fact that the origin is the single Bridge. This gives users the power to toggle lights individually. It also allows them to add select accessories to automation triggers and scenes in a way that is similar to how independent products would work.