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In January of 2015, Belkin said it was working with Apple to add HomeKit compatibility to its popular line of WeMo smart products "in the very near future," but more than a year later, HomeKit-compatible WeMo products have not debuted.

As it turns out, Belkin appears to be putting its plans to introduce HomeKit compatibility on hold because there is no way to add HomeKit to products that are already on the market. Belkin would need to develop an entire line of new HomeKit-enabled WeMo products, something that the company says it is not interested in doing in at the time being. The information was shared with MacRumors reader Steve on Facebook after he asked about HomeKit.

belkinwemo.jpg
We've been trying to integrate with HomeKit for sometime, as you know, but as of yet have not found a way to make existing WeMo products work with HomeKit that fall within the Apple guidelines. HomeKit integration requires a specific hardware component - it cannot happen with just a software or firmware update - which means that we would have to make a separate line of HomeKit enabled WeMo products in addition to the ones already out on the market.

This also means that all of the WeMo products you already own still wouldn't work with HomeKit and you would have to buy new ones in order to get compatibility. We have put HomeKit compatibility on hold until we can find a way to make it work for both new and existing users. We are sorry for the disappointing news.
The WeMo Facebook representative goes on to say that "nothing is off the table" but the company wants to be sure that its product decisions "make sense for the entire WeMo ecosystem" and all current and future users.

Apple's HomeKit system has specific and stringent security requirements [PDF] that must be included with products that Apple certifies as HomeKit compatible. Existing Belkin WeMo products may not meet Apple's security specifications, which have been described as "bleeding edge."

Apple's demand for strong end-to-end encryption, even for Bluetooth LE, has been citied as one of the reasons why HomeKit-enabled products were slow to roll out to consumers following the mid-2015 HomeKit launch. Unless Apple relaxes its requirements, which seems unlikely, HomeKit compatibility won't come to the WeMo line until Belkin decides to create new HomeKit-enabled products.

With a huge range of WeMo products, from smart outlets and bulbs to cameras and crockpots, already on the market, it's not hard to understand Belkin's reluctance to create all new products and alienate its existing customer base. Some customers using the WeMo line could have hundreds of dollars invested in various products, and for existing customers interested in HomeKit compatibility, all of those items would need to be repurchased.

Article Link: Belkin Puts HomeKit Compatibility Plans for WeMo Product Line 'On Hold'
 

0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
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I get that Belkin doesn't want to create an entire new line of HomeKit gear, but those security requirements set by Apple aren't there for nothing. Security is key when it comes to someone's home, since that is pretty much one's most private place. You wouldn't want to have exploitable flaws in your system that would allow hackers to watch your cams or control your appliances...
 
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shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
2,445
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That sucks. I'm using the Lutron product line and love it. Just wish they included additional devices like fan control. Every home has lights, and I'm pretty sure most have ceiling fans. Not sure why they don't include controls for that.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,071
4,233
HomeKit is a feature that has so much potential, but is being neglected. I hope Apple will step up with iOS 10. My wish list:
  • Home app that lists all the devices by room, showing their current status and toggle them.
  • Ability to add new device WITHOUT using 3rd party apps. It should be similar to Apple Pay, which optionally prompts you to install app.
  • Better voice recognition for HomeKit devices in Siri.
  • Ability to use Apple Watch or iPhone as a proximity based trigger.
  • Do Not Disturb setting to turn off/on certain HomeKit automatically, each with separate schedule.
 
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Ed217

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2012
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Virginia
I believe that Apple missed the mark entirely with HomeKit. At the time of initial release I dont think there was a single product on the face of the earth that it supported. I believe they would have been better to leave the security questions in the hands of the users rather than excluding the millions of devices already in place. I use Insteon products, which work well. I have zero plans to move anything to HomeKit because it trashes way too much.
 
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Recognition

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2013
596
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A £25 Raspberry Pi and an install of Homebridge enable WeMo switches to work with HomeKit.
They seriously can't figure out how to do it?! Amazing...

Why can't they make a bridge, like the new Philips Hue bridge that sits between their WeMo devices and HomeKit?
 
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kenotke

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2015
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A £25 Raspberry Pi and an install of Homebridge enable WeMo switches to work with HomeKit.
They seriously can't figure out how to do it?! Amazing...

Why can't they make a bridge, like the new Philips Hue bridge that sits between their WeMo devices and HomeKit?
That's exactly what I was thinking. They already have the WeMo link, just make that HomeKit compatible like Philips did and you're set. people would only need to upgrade their bridge if they want to use HomeKit.. they might get more sales out of that as well.
 
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WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,183
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Seattle
I believe that Apple missed the mark entirely with HomeKit. At the time of initial release I dont think there was a single product on the face of the earth that it supported. I believe they would have been better to leave the security questions in the hands of the users rather than excluding the millions of devices already in place. I use Insteon products, which work well. I have zero plans to move anything to HomeKit because it trashes way too much.

My entire house - all lights and windows shades, run on Lutron's Serena Shades and Lutron Caseta light switches. It. Is. Awesome. I can tell Siri to turn on whatever lights, groups of lights, set the lights to come on at different times or just on/off at sunset/sunrise. You can even tell Siri to set the lights to 27% if you like - or turn off all the lights (all of this from anywhere in the world). Same for the shades. HomeKit is absolutely in its infancy, but the Lutron system is superb.
 
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carfreak12321

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2008
151
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Japan
I can appreciate that Apple takes privacy and security seriously. But if the eniter market basically has abandoned home kit (relatively speaking) then there is definitely an issue. I feel it's similar to the mifi program for accessories. Meaning the program is there to make sure products are up to spec and don't fry your apple device but in reality it's more to allow Apple to make some extra money.

It's really to the detriment of the consumer. They should either make Siri more open so that other apps can be more involed or they should rethink their approach to the smart home market and make it more inclusive. I don't see Philips, wink, or other smart home platforms that run on more open platforms having too many issues so I don't see why Apple needs to make it so much more convoluted then it needs to be.
 
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shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
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Chicago, IL
My entire house - all lights and windows shades, run on Lutron's Serena Shades and Lutron Caseta light switches. It. Is. Awesome. I can tell Siri to turn on whatever lights, groups of lights, set the lights to come on at different times or just on/off at sunset/sunrise. You can even tell Siri to set the lights to 27% if you like - or turn off all the lights (all of this from anywhere in the world). Same for the shades. HomeKit is absolutely in its infancy, but the Lutron system is superb.

I have the same sentiment ...but where's my ceiling fan controls!!! I've got everything wired except my bedrooms as they all have ceiling fans.
 
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X38

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2007
470
310
I will be equipping a full house with new fixtures and appliances in the near future. I do not yet own any WeMo devices. It now looks like I never will.
Sorry if this disappoints you Belkin.

Isn't this exactly what the HomeKit bridge was supposed to be for?
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,420
15,548
Central U.S.
This is the exact reason I've yet to invest in any home automation stuff yet. There's too much in flux right now with companies making promises they can't keep, along with glitchy software and implementations. It's kind of a cluster. I'll be buying a new home as soon as this one sells, but I'm probably going to wait another year to see how things shake out.
 
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tdar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,404
996
Alpharetta GA.
This is the exact reason I've yet to invest in any home automation stuff yet. There's too much in flux right now with companies making promises they can't keep, along with glitchy software and implementations. It's kind of a cluster. I'll be buying a new home as soon as this one sells, but I'm probably going to wait another year to see how things shake out.
In another year, if nothing changes from what we have seen this past year, Amazon and the Echo will have taken the market that Apple should have taken. Unlike Homekit, the Echo works with existing products and is for the most part able to adapt to any standard. It should be noted that all of that Wemo gear already works with the Echo. Along with Hue, The Wink hub and its products, The Smartthings Hub and its products, Nest Products and seemingly some new thing monthly. Apple had better do something lest they are left standing at the starting line.
 
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SteveJobs2.0

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
827
1,347
Apple doesn't have people in charge that understand how to spread the adoption of their standards. Apple is hoping that anything it touches will turn to gold even without effort or concrete long-term strategy, but they at increasingly wrong. They will be in for a huge disappointment if this is how they plan to treat their future products including the Apple car.
 
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Scarpad

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2005
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The Amazon Ech line seems to be increasing in popularity for such things
 
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Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
233
309
A £25 Raspberry Pi and an install of Homebridge enable WeMo switches to work with HomeKit.
They seriously can't figure out how to do it?! Amazing...

Why can't they make a bridge, like the new Philips Hue bridge that sits between their WeMo devices and HomeKit?

Homebridge adds communication between HomeKit and the hub. The issue here, however, seems to be the communication between hub and devices, mainly that Apple insists on encryption.

My guess is that the hub-lamp communication in the Hue system already uses some kind of encryption anyway, so Philips just had to build a new bridge that could talk to HomeKit. If the WeMo hub doesn't encrypt its stuff and the lamps can't be taught to do it via a firmware update, then this could really only be fixed by replacing both hub and devices.

I may be completely wrong about this, though. Just trying to put together the information in the article in a way that would make sense.
 
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mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,769
1,895
A £25 Raspberry Pi and an install of Homebridge enable WeMo switches to work with HomeKit.
They seriously can't figure out how to do it?! Amazing...

I thought HomeKit was supposed to be secure and require custom encryption chips. Is that not the case? Seems odd for Apple to let unlicensed devices in so easily, while licensees are crippled by the chip requirements.
 
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Recognition

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2013
596
672
I thought HomeKit was supposed to be secure and require custom encryption chips. Is that not the case? Seems odd for Apple to let unlicensed devices in so easily, while licensees are crippled by the chip requirements.
I have zero knowledge on the coding and implementation of Homebridge but I do know that when you add it as an accessory in a HomeKit app, you get a warning saying that it is not licensed (I think that's the word used) and may not work properly.

So Apple know there will be and can be unofficial HomeKit compatible products out there that do work but don't meet their standards and don't get the 'works with HomeKit' tag.

I'm sure Apple know about Homebridge by now and could probably stop it working with just a few lines of code their end but my little setup is still going strong with lots of devices never meant to be controlled by Siri!
 
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