HomeKit-Enabled Accessories Begin Shipping

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One of the interesting highlights of last year’s Apple WWDC was the announcement of HomeKit. It is a framework that is designed to integrate iOS devices and Siri with home automation accessories such as thermostats, light switches, and more. The idea is that through compatible accessories and apps — and perhaps “one app to rule them all” from Apple — homeowners have full control over their homes with a tap on an Apple Watch or by speaking a simple phrase to Siri. Today, less than a week before the WWDC 2015 keynote, a number of companies have announced HomeKit-compatible accessories that are either shipping or will be by the end of July. Now that HomeKit appears to be taking off, expect it to be a focal point of the WWDC 2015 keynote on Monday, June 8 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET.

Coming from a number of manufacturers, including Insteon, iHome, Lutron, ecobee, and Elgato, these home control accessories all have Apple’s MFi (Made For iPhone/iPad) certification and work over Wi-Fi to provide control of in-home appliances. The new products range from home automation hubs that control a number of devices to individual switches that plug into existing wall outlets to add control capabilities to just about any plug-in appliance, whether it is a lamp, a humidifier, a fan or a heater. HomeKit’s architecture allows devices to be grouped into “rooms” and “scenes” so that all appliances in a group can be turned on or off simultaneously with just one command.

Be sure to watch the WWDC 2015 keynote on Monday, as there are sure to be demonstrations of HomeKit technology in action.


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