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CES 2019: Belkin's Wemo Brand Debuts New HomeKit-Compatible Light Switches Set to Launch in 2019

Belkin is adding to its lineup of HomeKit-compatible Wemo-branded smart devices with the upcoming launch of two new Wemo Light Switches that are set to come out in 2019. The Light Switches will work with HomeKit, joining the Wemo Mini Smart Plug and the Wemo Dimmer, devices that offer full HomeKit compatibility without the need for the Wemo Smart Bridge. Other Wemo products, such as the Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and existing Light Switch connect to HomeKit setups through the Wemo Smart Bridge. The newest Wemo products are much more convenient, offering a HomeKit connection without the use of the bridge. Priced at $39.99 for single-pole and $49.99 for 3-way, the Wemo Light Switches feature an updated design that blends in well with a home's decor. The new Wemo Light Switch options will be available in spring/summer 2019 from the Wemo website.

Wemo's WiFi Smart Dimmer Gains HomeKit Compatibility Through New Firmware Update

Belkin's Wemo brand today announced HomeKit support for the Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer, which is being added to existing Smart Dimmer switches through a software update. Wemo's Smart Dimmer, priced at $79.99, is a wall switch that replaces a traditional wall switch and is designed to dim connected lights. With HomeKit integration, the Smart Dimmer can be controlled via Siri voice commands on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod, and it adds controls for the device in the Home app."More than 1.5 million Wemo Mini and Dimmers are in the hands of consumers and people can now leverage this software update for use with the Wemo devices they already own," said Justin Doucette, senior director of product management for Wemo. "Our mission is to make the smart home experience simple, approachable and fun to use. With this new integration we aim to continue providing easy solutions to everyday tasks and add value through on-going software updates."Smart Dimmer switches will also be able to be integrated into HomeKit scenes right alongside other HomeKit devices, and remote access is available through a home hub that includes HomePod, Apple TV, or an iPad. The Smart Dimmer switches are the second Wemo product to gain direct HomeKit support, joining the Wemo Mini Smart Plug. Other Belkin products, such as the Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and Light Switch are able to connect to HomeKit setups through the Wemo Smart Bridge. Wemo says that the update that will enable HomeKit support for its Dimmer switches is rolling out today, with the firmware able to

Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains HomeKit Support Through Software Update

Belkin's Wemo Mini smart plug has gained HomeKit support through a software update, as reported today by CNET. This means that owners of Wemo Mini plugs can simply open the Wemo iOS app, update the device's software, and immediately gain the ability to add the plug into the Home app, add it into existing scenes, and use Siri to control it without the need for a Wemo Bridge. Apple first announced that it would update its HomeKit specification during WWDC 2017, so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. For products like the Wemo Mini, this means that authentication goes through software instead and greatly streamlines how developers integrate with HomeKit. Although announced at last year's WWDC, the change eventually launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, and the Wemo Mini is now the first HomeKit product to connect to Apple's platform using the software protocol, a Wemo spokesperson said. The team at Wemo also tells us that the Mini is the first HomeKit device to connect with the platform using Apple's software protocol instead of the MFi chipset that was initially required at HomeKit's launch. "No other non-chipped product has the ability to do the HomeKit authentication via a software update as of yet," a company spokesperson tells CNET. In that sense, the ability to connect with HomeKit via software instead of hardware represents a fairly significant step forward for the platform, and one that could make it easier for other existing devices to jump on board. That'd be a win for Apple, which has thus far

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

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."We've had an overwhelming positive response from customers when we announced last spring that we would make the Wemo Bridge compatible with HomeKit support, said Kara Alexander, Wemo senior product manager. "We have made it a top priority working with Apple to ensure an incredible experience for both Wemo and HomeKit users. Bringing together two of the most influential Smart Home platforms will enable millions of current and future Wemo users to experience the benefits of HomeKit, including the

New 'Wemo Bridge' Will Bring HomeKit Support to Belkin's Wemo Line This Fall

Belkin today announced that its Wemo line of smart home devices will support HomeKit starting this fall with the launch of a new HomeKit-enabled Wemo Bridge. The Wemo Bridge, which will connect to any home Wi-Fi router via an Ethernet cable, will allow current Wemo Smart Plugs and Light Switches to connect to a HomeKit setup. Wemo products will respond to Siri voice commands and will be able to interface with other HomeKit devices in Scenes when connected to the bridge. "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."With the addition of HomeKit support, Wemo products will work with almost all connected home solutions on the market, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest Learning Thermostat (Home and Away modes), and IFTTT. Bridge-compatible Wemo devices include the Dimmer, Mini Smart Plug, Insight Smart Plug, and Light Switch. Belkin plans to debut the Wemo Bridge in the fall. Pricing has not yet been

CES 2017: Belkin Adds Mini Smart Plug and Dimmer Light Switch to WeMo Lineup

Belkin is introducing two new smart home products at CES 2017 this week, including the WeMo Mini smart plug and WeMo Dimmer light switch. The WeMo Mini is a compact smart plug that is half the size of the older WeMo Switch smart plug, allowing homeowners to stack two of them in a single wall outlet. The smart plug enables homeowners to wirelessly control lamps, heaters, fans, and more over Wi-Fi using the free WeMo app for iPhone [Direct Link]. The WeMo Mini can be controlled remotely as well with an iPhone or iPad connected to a cellular network, with no hub or subscription required. The smart plug also supports Amazon Echo and Google Home for control via voice commands, and IFTTT and "home" and "away" modes on Nest thermostats. The WeMo Dimmer, a CES 2017 Innovations Award Honoree, is Belkin's next-generation smart dimming light switch with new features such as Night Mode, which prevents harsh lights at night, and a customized bulb calibration.Current dimmer products have a single dimming range for all bulb types, which tends to create flickering and noise issues, but Wemo Dimmer uses the Wemo app to custom calibrate for any bulb type including incandescents (up to 400 watts), CFLs or LEDs, to eliminate those annoyances. In addition, Night Mode enables users to set a specific level of brightness during a set period of time, which is ideal for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips or checking on the kids when they are asleep.The WeMo Dimmer, like the Mini Smart Plug, is compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home for dimming and on/off control via voice

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

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. 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

Belkin Plans to Add HomeKit Support to WeMo Line in 'Very Near Future'

Belkin's WeMo line, which consists of a range of home automation products like light switches, motion sensors, cameras, and more, has been around a few years, but the company has been dedicated to updating it and adding new products on a regular basis. It appears that the WeMo line's next major update could be the addition of HomeKit support, letting the complete range of products integrate with Apple's upcoming home automation platform. Speaking to MacObserver, a Belkin spokesperson confirmed that the company is committed to introducing HomeKit support, which will come in "the very near future."WeMo will continue to evolve as we deliver on our promise of being the most approachable entry point to the connected home, and it is a natural progression based on Belkin's long-term partnership with Apple that compatibility with HomeKit will be a part of that evolution. We are currently in conversations with Apple, but no specifics have been finalized at this point. Though our primary goal will always be to create a robust WeMo platform and unparalleled user experience for both current and future WeMo users, we are actively engaged in bringing HomeKit compatibility to fruition in the very near future. Stay tuned.Belkin was one of the first accessory companies to embrace home automation, and its wide collection of connected products will likely help skyrocket HomeKit to popularity once it becomes available. Belkin started out with a line of connected WeMo switches that allowed any electronic item plugged into them to be controlled by a mobile device, but has since expanded