HomeKit finally has some meat on its bones after the first major manufacturers of home automation products release devices.
First announced alongside iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 back in June last year, HomeKit kind of got lost in the buzz surrounding Apple’s true focus: HealthKit. However, there have been trickles of progress, such as back in November when it was reported that HomeKit enabled chips were making their way to home automation developers.
HomeKit, in the same vein as HealthKit, PassKit, and others is a database that allows developers to make software that can communicate and control devices for home automation. Actions can then be initiated via Siri.
While there can be options that allow manufacturers to allow existing equipment to connect, new products have finally arrived. These include the Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge which allows you to control light dimmers using Siri. The Smart Bridge was actually launched back in 2014, and many of these products will be updated additions that simply allow integration with the iPhone. Previously, users would control these devices with a standalone app from the manufacturer.
Following the update to the Smart Bridge, Insteon has produced a smart hub, which comes with a new app that allows the company’s devices to communicate with devices from other manufacturers via HomeKit (as long as they’re enabled too). To put some figures on these products, the Lutron starter kit costs around $230 and the Insteon Hub costs $149.
Elsewhere, Elgato has announced that its HomeKit products are available for pre-order. This includes devices to detect when doors are open or closed, temperature, humidity and more. Eve energy, currently only available in Europe was also announced. Eve can turn electrical devices on or off and measure usage.
Finally, the wave of HomeKit-enabled devices up for pre-order also includes iHome SmartPlugs, a wi-fi enabled device that can be used to control devices. This can be pre-ordered from June 15. Elsewhere Ecobee3, a smart thermostat, will be available from July 7 (pre-order from June 23) and will allow users to control the temperature of their homes via Siri.
- Introducing HomeKit – Apple’s Home Automation solution
- Getting started with Home Automation
- Review: Workflow – Powerful Automation