After a change of heart, Belkin has now officially announced that it will bring HomeKit support to its ecosystem of Wemo smart home accessories later this year with the unveiling of a new HomeKit Wemo Bridge.
The bridge will enable all Wemo devices currently on the market to interact with an Apple user’s HomeKit setup. This will allow voice control of Wemo lights, plugs and switches via Siri as well as manual control through the iOS 10 Apple Home app.
The bridge will be available to buy in the fall for an unannounced price. The small puck-sized bridge connects to the home Wi-Fi router via an Ethernet cable. It then uses the Wi-Fi signal to communicate with Wemo devices in range and any iOS devices on the network, allowing the products to interoperate via HomeKit.
Like bridges from other HomeKit accessory makers, the Apple Home app will display all Wemo accessories independently even though they are originating from the single Bridge. This allows users to individually toggle lights and add select accessories to scenes and automation triggers, as if they were independent products.
The news means current and future Wemo products will work seamlessly with Apple devices (including a potential Siri Speaker rumored to be announced next month) once the bridge is available to buy. HomeKit integration means that Wemo users will be able to tell Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, things like ‘Turn off the lights’ and have their Wemo light switches dutifully obey.
Belkin says the announcement answers an overwhelming request from customers who want to use Wemo devices with HomeKit.
“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 Brian Van Harlingen, chief technology officer at Belkin International. “We’re proud to work with Apple to bring together two of the most influential Smart Home platforms. Wemo has been providing smart home devices for more than five years, and millions of people use Wemo devices every day. The Wemo Bridge will allow current and future Wemo users to experience the benefits of HomeKit, including Siri integration and interoperability with other HomeKit devices while also leveraging all the Wemo features customers enjoy.”
The beauty of HomeKit is that it allows iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch owners to integrate smart home products from different manufacturers into a single experience. This means if you already own some Wemo smart devices today, you can add them into your HomeKit home alongside accessories from Philips Hue, or whoever else.
The Wemo Bridge will be available in the fall with pricing yet to be announced.
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