Exclusive: Linksys reveals HomeKit products and future plans on HomeKit Insider

in General Discussion
On this week's episode of HomeKit Insider, Linksys's Matthew Keasler stops by to chat with Andrew and Stephen about the Linksys HomeKit rollout as well as what's in this week's news.

HomeKit Insider: a new AppleInsider podcast
HomeKit Insider: A new AppleInsider podcast

The most exciting news this week is that Linksys is finally rolling out HomeKit support to its Tri-Band routers. To celebrate, we have an exclusive as Matthew Keasler -- senior product manager of Linksys -- stops by. He tells us the inside story what it's like for Linksys, the connected home division of Belkin International, to develop for HomeKit. Plus exactly how the Velop Tri-Band HomeKit came to be, what a HomeKit router offers you, and much more.

There were some other significant products released this week, however. They include a Friends of Hue Outdoor Light Switch, and the Meross Smart Power Strip that also bakes in several USB-A ports to charge your gear. Plus Netatmo finally announced availability of its HomeKit Video Doorbell -- though only in Europe for the time being. It will launch in the US later this year.

Also this week, Stephen shares some information on the SwitchBot. This is a HomeKit device that will press a button or switch for you, so you can position it over your non-smart coffee maker and control it remotely. Stephen was quick to pick one up and will have more to share on it in a future episode and how tightly it can be integrated into HomeKit.

Links from the show

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  • Reply 1 of 4
    Too bad he couldn’t say when the new firmware would be available on their website. 
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    So many innacuracies. I like the format of this podcast, but so often there is incorrect, or incomplete information.

    e.g. the Senic outdoor friends of hue switch does not require a battery. Just like every other Hue switch, except the dimmer, it runs on the kinetic energy of pressing the button.

    There was a statement that there is no doorbell with HKSV. Incorrect. Robin, whilst exorbitantly expensive, does support HKSV.

    My biggest disappointment was around the small space given to Netatmo. There was a statement that it was expensive. However, no discussion about that price.

    Yes, Netatmo doorbell is $299. However, you have to compare apples with apples. 

    Netatmo does not require, or even offer, a subscription service. There is an SD card built into the device. If we look at Ring, for example. The door bell that most closely resembles Netatmo is the Ring Pro, which is $249. However, you have to buy their service which is either $6/month or $12/month. Even if you take the low end service, that's another $72 a year, which makes the price of Ring $321 by the end of year 1, or $393 year 2, or $465 year 3.

    So, when you compare what you re getting for the price, Netatmo Doorbell works out very reasonable.
    Well, not *every* other Hue switch. The Dimmer switch requires a cell battery. We also haven't gotten our hands on one yet, nor reviewed. So we will have firm information there.

    We've talked about HSV doorbells about 30 times on the show. The Robin Pro LIne is around but it is terribly expensive -- as you say -- but it isn't particularly targeted at main consumers. If we lapsed and said there are no HSV doorbells, we more of meant there are no *real* options for users. No one is buying the Robin ProLine and there are only a couple other HomeKit doorbells on the market.

    You also seem to think that we've beef with Netatmo -- I LOVE the Netatmo doorbell! I've talked about it so many times now. The hardware is excellent. We've also gone much more in-depth on that product before. I totally think the price of the Netatmo is fine. I'm pretty sure we talked a bit in the podcast about why the price is warranted, but again -- we are just covering the news and not getting into a review. Maybe on paper the price is fine but once you actually try it you realize that the 140-degree field of view is too limiting, the video quality is grainy, and the product feels cheap. Those aren't necessarily true, but we can't say one way or another until we try it.

    Speaking of which though, in my writeup of the PR for the announcement, I do talk about the price, at least in some sense. "Netatmo helps justify the higher price tag with premium features and no monthly fee, a departure from many other smart video doorbell brands."

    I think if we did limit the time on it it is only because we wanted to get to our interview with Matt.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor

    armandxp said:
    Too bad he couldn’t say when the new firmware would be available on their website. 
    It is an auto-update that is rolling out already. I believe mine was already updated? But I have it in Bridge mode at the moment so haven't been able to use it.
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