Belkin announced two products at CES 2020, a new, more compact version of their smart plug, and the Wemo Stage, a smart wireless switch. 2020 has come and gone of course, without a sniff of the latter product. However, Dave Zatz at zatznotfunny.com has found evidence that the switch is now almost ready for primetime, via a more recent FCC filing that reveals the manual.
The Wemo Stage Scene Controller has three dedicated buttons and is designed to work with HomeKit directly, without the need for any form of bridge, although it does require a Home Hub in order to function. This is due to the fact that it uses Bluetooth 5.0, as devices that use Bluetooth for HomeKit, tend to need a home hub in order to be connected to your HomeKit home when your phone isn’t near enough to make a direct connection.
The interesting thing is, it would appear from research from our resident Bluetooth expert – Bing Feng Yeh – that the Bluetooth chip used in the device is actually capable of using Thread, the exciting new wireless protocol that is also used in the new HomePod Mini. that chip is the following;
- NXP BLE IC: K32W061 ( Bluetooth 5.0, Zigbee 3.0, Thread networks)
Now before we all get too excited, Belkin hasn’t made any announcements regarding this device using Thread, and may not use it, as strange as that may sound. However, the device Is capable of thread based on the chip used. In fact, the chip can also use Zigbee, although that’s unlikely to be used, as Belkin don’t use Zigbee, and don’t have a Zigbee hub, let alone one that’s compatible with HomeKit so that compatibility would appear to be a side product.
As it stands, we’ll have to wait and see what Belkin have planned, and what the price will turn out to be, but if the possibility of Thread is on the cards, this could well be an exciting new product.