It’s been a year since Apple officially launched its internet-of-things smart-home service – an event that we noted at the time was somewhat undermined by the fact that there were virtually no products that worked with it.
Twelve months later and two weeks out from its annual conference, Apple has finally snagged its first big customer. What’s more, Belkin says that its compatibility with Apple’s HomeKit standard won’t just extend to a single product, but to every Wemo device it has produced – every smart plug, switch, light and camera.
There’s only one downside: you will have to buy a specific HomeKit bridge to make it work.
“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 Belkin’s CTO Brian Van Harlingen cheerfully, adding: “We’re proud to work with Apple to bring together two of the most influential Smart Home platforms.”
This is quite a shift from exactly a year ago when Belkin decided it wasn’t going to bother with Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem.
“We hear you, Wemo fans. Trust us, we do. We know you really want HomeKit compatibility for your Wemo devices and we are sorry that we’ve kept you hanging for so long,” it opined in a blog post in March 2016. “But the short answer is that Wemo will not work with HomeKit in the immediate future. Before you get mad and stop reading, please hear us out…”
And the reason behind the decision was the same as pretty much every other manufacturer of smart home products: Apple’s insistence that its own special chip be added to all products to make them work.
“Right now the only way to make Wemo work with HomeKit is to build a completely separate line of products and we don’t think that makes sense for the…