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

by

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

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.

Tags: Belkin, WeMo

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago
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...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
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?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
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.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...