When Philips said its Hue smart lightbulb line would be HomeKit compatible the assumption was that we'd need some piece of new hardware to make that happen, and now we have confirmation thanks to a light retailer in the Netherlands who added the new Hue Bridge to its online store prematurely. The bad news is the HomeKit compatible Hue Bridge will cost about US$60, but the good news is you won't have to replace any of your bulbs.
Philips Hue HomeKit compatible Bridge coming soon and it'll cost about $60
The online listing for the new Bridge was first spotted by iCulture. The retailer has since pulled it from their site and Philips isn't talking yet about the new product.
The new Hue Bridge will be compatible with all of the Philips Hue smart LED bulbs, and will include the HomeKit features people have been impatiently waiting for, including Siri voice control. The current Hue Bridge isn't compatible, and since adding support requires new hardware instead of software updates, it won't ever be HomeKit-ready.
Apple listed Philips as a HomeKit partner when the platform was first introduced. HomeKit lets iOS device owners control their smart home gear—such as lights, locks, and thermostats—together instead of through separate apps. Saying "It's bed time," for example, could dim your lights, lock the front door, and change the thermostat setting all at the same time.
HomeKit compatible devices have been slowly rolling out over the past couple months, and more are on the way.
If spending about $60 to add Siri voice control to your Hue lights isn't worth it, your current Bridge will continue to work just fine. You also won't be able to gang up commands with devices from other manufacturers.
Philips hasn't said when its HomeKit compatible Hue Bridge will ship. Since it showed up on a retailer's site, however, it's likely an official announcement will be coming soon.