CES: Could the Focalcrest Mixtile Hub be the HomeKit bridge we've all been waiting for?

Focalcrest CEO Martin Liu shows off the Mixtile Hub at CES 2017

Focalcrest CEO Martin Liu shows off the Mixtile Hub at CES 2017

There have been a surprising number of vendors at CES 2017 showing off HomeKit compatible devices, but for those who have legacy home automation hardware running on ZigBee and Z-Wave systems, the announcements have been of little interest since there's no way to control those older devices using iOS and Siri. A relatively unknown vendor, Focalcrest, has announced the Mixtile Hub, a device that the company claims will bridge HomeKit, ZigBee, and Z-Wave so that most home automation products can be controlled by the Home app.

Focalcrest has obtained Apple MFi certification for the Mixtile Hub, which means that it has an embedded MFi authorization chip. By also being able to communicate with accessories using the legacy technologies, Mixtile eliminates the need for individual iOS apps to control ZigBee and Z-Wave sensors, surveillance devices, and smart home products. 

The Mixtile Hub has a quad-core H3 Cortex processor under the hood with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of local storage. It communicates with Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz band, and also uses Bluetooth 4.0, 100-base-T Ethernet, HDMI, micro-USB and USB 2.0 for extreme compatibility. One really cool feature -- a 2,500mAh backup battery to power the device through power outages.

The price and availability of the Mixtile Hub have not been made clear yet, but we'll try to get more information on this fascinating announcement.