The Company claims that users can add their Mini products to Apple Home app and use Siri to access them normally, without having a physical network bridge.
We have sold more than one million Wemo Minis and with Apple’s new software authentication of HomeKit, our customers can easily integrate their Wemo devices with the Apple Home app and Siri, to enjoy the full Apple experience of home control,
–Justin Doucette, Senior director of product management at Wemo.
Conventionally, Apple requires hardware encryption for all of its HomeKit devices. These chips are expensive, therefore HomeKit bridges or hubs were used to for connecting different devices by the same vendor. This move from Mini just might steer the direction of the industry. Apple has previewed software authentication last year at WWDC. This was right about when HomeKit development was was being opened up. It was delivered with iOS 11.3 earlier this year.
Devices that are running iOS 11.3 or tvOS 11.3 may use software in a HomeKit device, with authentication enabled, for encryption of network communication. Apple did hint at HomeKit being enabled directly on older devices via firmware updates.