EDITORS' NOTE, 7/19/18: WeMo, which lets WeMo devices connect to Apple HomeKit on their own without needing the WeMo Bridge at all. So far, the only WeMo gadget to get the upgrade is the , though WeMo tells us that the should also take advantage by the end of 2018. It isn't clear yet if other Wemo gadgets will follow suit or not -- for now, you'll still need the WeMo Bridge to connect them with HomeKit. Our original review of the WeMo Bridge follows below:
After eight months of waiting, Belkin's bridge to Apple HomeKit is. Plug it in and plug its Ethernet cable into your router, and it'll act as middleman between your WeMo gadgets and Apple HomeKit's iOS-and-Siri-based smart home controls. The cost? $40.
(Belkin tells me that the WeMo Bridge will also sell in the UK by the end of February for £50. No word on availability in Australia yet, though that price point converts to about AU$50.)
That's honestly less than I expected Belkin would sell it for, and it works with more WeMo gadgets than I thought it would, too. Along with current-gen devices like theand , Belkin's (the big, bulky ones) get to come along for the ride as well, as does Belkin's (though full motion support is still in the works -- more on that in a bit). Neither of those are even sold anymore, so good on Belkin for not leaving them -- and the customers who still use them -- behind.
The addition of Siri controls completes the voice trifecta for WeMo, as its gadgets already work with Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant. You don't need an extra bridge accessory to connect with either of those voice assistants, though you will need a compatible voice device like theor smart speakers, pictured above. With HomeKit, you'll just talk to Siri through your iPhone or iPad, and you'll be also able to give commands through the smart speaker once that product arrives .
To use WeMo's HomeKit Bridge, you'll plug it into a power outlet using the included Micro-USB cable, then plug it into your router using the attached LAN cable. One quibble: I'd like it a little better if there were an option for connecting with your router wirelessly -- especially since that attached LAN cable is only 9 inches long.
Still, the WeMo Bridge is small -- roughly the size of an individually wrapped Reese's Cup -- so don't expect it to take up too much space as it sits on the shelf beside your router. It weighs just under an ounce and a half, so feel free to leave it dangling off the back, too.
Before you do that, though, I'd recommend snapping a picture of the 8-digit HomeKit code on the back of the device. You'll need that code to pair the Bridge with Apple's Home app during setup (a security feature designed to keep hackers from taking control of the device from outside of your home). Apple lets you enter that code simply by pointing your phone's camera at it, but that might be a challenge with the bridge connected to your router. Fortunately, you can also just type the code in manually, which is where that reference pic will come in handy.