ZemiSmart Release Second HomeKit Zigbee Hub

just after we announced preorders for the new ZemiSmart Roller Shade motor using Matter over Thread, the company followed up with an update to their original HomeKit-compatible Zigbee hub. If that confuses you somewhat, given they’ve also recently released a Matter-compatible hub, you’re not alone. However, there is a method to the madness (sort of).

Whilst the aforementioned Matter-compatible hub with an included Thread Border Router is of interest to most people, if you’re only interested in using HomeKit, and looking for a slightly wider list of compatible devices, this would be the real successor to their original hub, as the Matter hub still doesn’t expose as many devices – Zigbee locks is one such category that the Matter hub has yet to support, apparently.

Ultimately, Matter will catch up of course, but it really depends on whether you’re willing to wait for that to happen.

What does this new 2nd gen hub offer over the original you’re probably wondering. Well, it’s still essentially a Zigbee 3.0 hub, as before, but with that addition of an antenna, the company claims the reach of the hub to child devices is a lot stronger and more consistent. The hub still requires an ethernet connection, but the power supply has been upgraded to use USB-C, and they’ve ditched the LED ring light, which was of no use anyway.

As this is not a Matter-compatible hub, connection to platforms like Google and Amazon is going to use what I refer to as legacy connectivity, via the cloud. This isn’t relevant if you’re a HomeKit user, however. You can pick up the new hub from ZemiSmart’s online store today for US$44.40.

The Editor

Editor - Musician, graphic designer and HomeKit aficionado.

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