Wemo will support Homekit later this year

I mentioned in a previous post that I was concerned about Wemo’s long term commitment to home automation because:

  1. They announced they would not support Apple’s Homekit
  2. Belkin refers to Wemo as a “partner” on it’s website, not one of its product lines
  3. The product line has been stagnant over the past 2 years

However, Wemo just released a dimmer switch. This is the first truly new product they released in a couple of years. Their last “new” product was a smaller version of their old outlet switch, released earlier this year.

Now they also announced that they changed their mind about Homekit, and will release a new Wemo hub to connect all existing Wemo devices to Homekit. The price hasn’t been announced but it is supposed to be released later this year.

I am not sure why they didn’t do this upfront. By initially refusing to support Homekit they caused Apple users to buy competitors’ products, and raised questions about their longevity among non-Apple users.

I am not a fan of hubs as a home automation solution. Each manufacturer has it’s own hubs, and since no single company’s product line is broad enough to handle all possible needs, you can wind up with a bunch of expensive/incompatible hubs.

There are a few hubs (Wink, Smarthings, Harmony) that work with multiple manufacturers products, but I don’t think any of them support Homekit.

I have only one hub – from Philips – for the Hue lights. I don’t want any more. One of the attractive things about the Wemo product line was the absence of a hub. Since I use Alexa to control my devices rather than Siri, I don’t need the new Wemo hub.

These are still early days for home automation. The devices genuinely work, and little by little there are ways of integrating them together. But there is still a learning curve, and that is keeping people away from these products. People just want to bring them home, turn them on, and not have to figure them out. We are not close to that yet.

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