Apple HomeKit users have a new option for a smart doorbell. Belkin’s smart home brand Wemo is showing off its new Smart Video Doorbell at CES. The wired doorbell features a 178-degree field of view, a 4-megapixel camera, and person detection based on the people you tag in Apple’s iOS Photos app.
The Wemo Smart Video Doorbell works exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit secure video platform, providing end-to-end video encryption for privacy. Taking advantage of this feature requires that you have a HomePod, Apple TV, or an iPad set up as a home hub. All video processing is done locally before it is uploaded to your iCloud account, where only you can access it. Click this link for a detailed explanation of HomeKit.
The wired doorbell works on your existing 16-24V wiring, so it’s not a good choice if your home doesn’t already have a doorbell. Belkin press materials do not list a separate doorbell, so it probably depends on the one you already have. The doorbell has an onboard dual-band Wi-Fi adapter (2.4 / 5GHz) and can attribute movement to the presence of a person, animal, or vehicle in its field of vision. Then it will send smart notifications to your iOS device.
Belkin rates the Wemo Video Doorbell as IP55 weather resistant, which means it will hold enough dust to prevent failure and can withstand exposure to moderate jets of water from any direction.
This is the third HomeKit-compatible device in the Wemo product line, joining the Wemo Stage Scene Controller and the latest Wemo Smart Plug. Wemo says its tight integration with HomeKit is a “strategic move” aimed at decreasing the dependency of its devices on cloud servers. This move, however, leaves Android smartphone users out in the cold.
Belkin says the $ 250 Wemo Video Doorbell is now available to order in the US and Canada. If you’re reluctant to deal with low-voltage wiring, the company has partnered with third-party service provider OnTech, which will do the job for you for $ 100.
In addition to the doorbell news, Belkin announced plans to launch new versions of its Wemo smart plug, light switch and dimmer that will support Matter over Thread, the smart home interoperability effort spearheaded by the Connectivity Standards Alliance backed by Amazon, Google, Signify. (Philips Hue), Samsung SmartThings and other big players in the smart home space. Matter is scheduled to launch in the first half of this year.