CES 2018: Belkin Adds HomeKit Compatibility to Wemo Lineup With Launch of New Bridge

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Belkin today announced that it is officially adding HomeKit support to its popular Wemo lineup of smart connected accessories with the launch of the new Wemo Bridge.

    Customers who own Wemo home automation products have been eagerly awaiting the debut of the Wemo Bridge, which Belkin first unveiled earlier this year. It was meant to launch in the fall of 2017, a target that was missed, but it will be available for purchase starting tomorrow.


    Details about the bridge have already been added into the Wemo app, so some customers may have already noticed its imminent availability.

    The Wemo Bridge is designed to connect to any home Wi-Fi router via an Ethernet cable to add HomeKit connectivity to current Wemo Smart Plugs and Light Switches. With the addition of the bridge, selected Wemo accessories can be controlled via the dedicated Home app or through Siri, and they can interact with other HomeKit products using Scenes, Schedules, and Timers.

    Belkin's Bridge-compatible Wemo devices include the Dimmer, Mini Smart Plug, Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and Light Switch.
    The HomeKit-connected Wemo Bridge will be available for purchase starting on Monday, January 8 from Belkin, Amazon, Apple, and Best Buy for $39.99.

    Article Link: CES 2018: Belkin Adds HomeKit Compatibility to Wemo Lineup With Launch of New Bridge
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Originally Apple didn't allow bridging devices for HomeKit. They realized it's pretty crappy to have to purchase or even have another device just to make something work with HomeKit.
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Nice to see the integration with HomeKit, a little over due in this sense. But for $40.00, the price will add more functionality.
  4. steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007
    Nice they are doing this. Hope we see HomeKit integrated into their products going forward so we do not need the bridge.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 7, 2018 ---
    Also, what is the scoop from Belkin regarding Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability of this device?
  5. wesley96 macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2009
    Then Apple realized that few manufacturers would actually support HomeKit outright. The restriction came off fairly early on - HomeKit was first released with iOS 8 in September 2014, but by January 2015 certain bridges were being allowed.
    Note that this article mentions light bulbs likely being excluded for bridging eligibility. Then Philips came out with HomeKit compatible Hue bridge in October 2015 that let users control the Hue light bulbs. Two years later the same bridge got a software upgrade to support Hue switches and sensors.

    At this point it's suffice to say there isn't much restrictions regarding HomeKit bridges. I agree that having a plethora of bridges does seem absurd, but many people do try to simplify things by getting products from a single manufacturer and a bridge to er, bridge the compatibility can be a godsend.
  6. Scooz macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2012
    Were this bridge and the attached costs actually necessary or is this just about Belkin’s profit model and Homekit compatibility could have been implemented by providing a software upgrade?

    Asking, cause I don‘t know Apple‘s current policy nor the Wemos‘ HW capabilities (eg for encryption).
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    The Wemo devices themselves have no capability to interface with HomeKit. A bridge is required. Fortunately Apple seems to be easing up on the previous restrictions with regards to bridges.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Are you sure?

    Here's a Verge article from the day the first HomeKit devices were available to buy, and two of the products from day one (Lutron and Insteon) came with bridges.

    The first products for Apple’s HomeKit are available today

    I don't mind bridges. Yeah, it's a PITA to have extra boxes to deal with, but they bring immediate HomeKit compatibility to existing products. Insteon and Lutron's products have been able to be used with HomeKit since 2015, despite the fact that none of them have Bluetooth or WiFi built-in to them. Same with Philip Hues. I'm not sure it makes sense to put Bluetooth/WiFi controllers in every smart bulb just so they can work without a hub...
  9. jokerz126 macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2010
    So will we be able to buy this at 12:01am tonight??

    Also, sounds like it’ll make Belkin’s cameras into HomeKit cameras?? Is that true? What would the benefits be? You see them right on the Home app?
  10. wesley96 macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2009
    Given the time difference between the availability of iOS 8 and the first HomeKit products (~9 months) it's entirely possible that Apple's original stance was more strict, which was then loosened over time. This is hinted by the article I linked earlier.
  11. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'd like to be a Homekit purist, but the Google Home Mini I got for Xmas works with Wemo and almost every other smart home device I have (without the need for a bridge). It fills in the gaps where Homekit compatibility is missing... for now.

  12. nitramluap macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2015
    Sadly the greatly underappreciated Wemo Maker appears to not be supported. Why?

    I’m using one to control a garage door for which there is no other option... You can do almost anything with the Wemo Maker’s relay & sensor control. It’s brilliant.

    I’ll get a Wemo Bridge when they support Wemo Maker. Until then I’ll be slowly replacing my Wemo Switches for Elgato Eve Energy switches.

    If only there was a Bluetooth extender for these things... their only Achilles heel.
  13. macsba macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2015
    Next to my Mac.
    Miss Clover;

    If you're still at CES 2018, could you please ask the reps at Belkin when they will be producing keyboard covers for the 10.5 inch iPad Pro.

    Thank you.
  14. ipedro macrumors 601


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Apple is making it hard to go 100% HomeKit because of the delay of the HomePod and because of the early restrictions which has made third party adoption slow.

    Since most HomeKit devices also work with Google Home, that makes HomeKit interoperable with Google and even Alexa. You can have all three systems working together. If you turn on a light with Google Home, HomeKit will see the new status and then you can turn off that light with Siri on your AppleWatch.

    I’m really tempted to get a few Google Home minis to scatter around my home but Apple Music not working with Google Home is holding me back. Hopefully Apple hurries up with HomePod and then releases small Siri devices to place everywhere in your home.
  15. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    I've got my own bridge it's called HomeBridge and it's been running Wemo devices with Homekit flawlessly for 3 years now!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 8, 2018 ---
    I'm sure there are many options
  16. travoose, Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

    travoose macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2008
    Central PA
    I have many Wemo devices in my house and I constantly get emails from Belkin for promotions. I just got an email from Belkin announcing this and a code for 40% off, but it doesn't specify if it is off the bridge or all Wemo devices. Can't check it because the bridge is not available yet on the Belkin site.

    Update: The code does work for 40% off the bridge. Nice move, Belkin.
  17. SD449 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    Any news when this is being released in the uk?
  18. MacknTosh macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2015
    The problem with bridges is that I only have so many ports on my router - and my sideboard already looks like Blackpool illuminations. Not to mention the need for more and more sockets to plug things into.
  19. AmazingRobie macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    I just returned 2x WEMO outlets to B&H because this thing hadnt come out. I stand behind the decision as i wont be adding anymore dongles to my setup. No thanks Belkin. Love your micro USB cigarette outlet adapters...
  20. jokerz126 macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2010
    Just ordered it directly from their site with code for around $26. Better than $40.. says free 2 day shipping.
  21. nitramluap macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2015
    Actually, not in my country, nor for the type of door I have... but thanks for the 'help'.

    Also, HomeBridge is not something I've ever been interested in as it's a bit Heath-Robinson, has security implications and requires a dedicated computer that's on all the time - just for a few buttons. What a waste of power. Pass.
  22. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    Ok, you moan about homebridge whilst i successfully automate my entire house (and car) with Siri for the last three years - it runs on a Mac mini I have as a server at home anyone (because anyone who's seriously into technology already runs an always on low power server for multiple tasks) but even if you don't. put it on a Raspberry Pi, it'll cost about 1 pence a year.

    Z-Wave devices are available all over Europe, i'll bet my right arm there is something on Vesternet that would work with your door controller.
  23. jagooch macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2009
    Denver, co
    I'm on the fence. I have a ton of Wemo outlet switches but I'd rather not add another device to my setup. Adding the Philips bridge was enough for me.

    I'll give Homebridge another try. Last time I spent 2 hours trying to install it on my iMac but Homebrew kept complaining about problems with dependencies.

    i think I'll try it on a Linux VM next time.
  24. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Wait, you're using using a WeMo Maker and some wires to control your garage door, but you consider Homebridge to be Heath-Robinson? heh Guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

    Looks like the WeMo Maker was discontinued awhile ago, which is probably why the new WeMo hub doesn't offer support for it.

    As for Homebridge, a lot of folks use a US$40 Raspberry Pi kit for the "dedicated computer that's on all the time". Once configured, the Pi can be maintained remotely and doesn't require a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. It's a tiny little box with built-in WiFi, so it can be tucked just about anywhere in a house <i.e. behind something on a shelf, out of sight>. I'd be surprised if a Pi uses noticeably more power than a WeMo Maker does...

    I guess if you just have a few buttons, Homebridge might not make sense. For me, it's been the bridge for the last three years for about 20 Insteon devices and a bunch of zwave devices. It also used to control my garage door (wirelessly, which is why I chuckled when you said Homekit was a bit Heath-Robinson vs your Maker setup), but MyQ has an official HomeKit hub for that now, so I switched to that. Ironically, Homebridge controlling my garage door was noticeably faster to respond vs. the official MyQ HomeKit hub. Go figure.
  25. nitramluap macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2015
    I ONLY would need it for the Wemo Maker so yes, it wouldn’t make sense. Plus, I want something that doesn’t need to be maintained by me every time there is a iOS update or Apple changes something at their end, rendering Homebridge inoperable (temporarily or permanently) as it’s technically not kosher. I’m not interested in ‘fiddling’ with this stuff.

    I’ve slowly replaced all my Wemo devices with Elgato Eve devices (which are way better IMHO)... except for the Wemo Maker. But I suspect I’ll find a way to replace that too soon enough.

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25 January 7, 2018