Written by Jack Taylor
Right before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday, a few of the previously announced HomeKit partners are beginning to launch the first HomeKit-compatible devices.
HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform, unveiled at WWDC 2014. HomeKit provides a standardized framework for manufacturers to develop their own develop home automation devices, allowing them to interact with iOS and OS X devices in the Apple ecosystem. Using the HomeKit platform, connected devices such as lights, thermostats, speakers, smart plugs, and more can be controlled by Siri. For example, HomeKit enables commands like "Siri, turn on the heating" or "Siri, open the garage door."
It has taken a whole year for the first wave of manufacturers to complete Apple's certification process and get products ready for sale. Several companies including iHome, Lutron, and Elgato have today launched their first products.
Lutron has launched its Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit with Smart Bridge, while iHome is announcing its iSP5 SmartPlug, and Elgato is launching its "Eve" connected home sensors.
The Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge with HomeKit support allows homeowners to control lights in specific rooms or areas. For example, just before bed, tell Siri "turn the lights off" and the Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge will turn off lights throughout the house. Unsure if the basement light is still on? Ask Siri to check and if so, turn it off.
We can expect more and more HomeKit enabled devices to start appearing in stores throughout the rest of 2015. As always, as more manufacturers get on board and more products launch, the platform will expand with new features and further software updates.
Jack Taylor AKA @ric275