HomeKit seems set to be the star of giant trade show, CES 2015, maintaining Apple's track record of dominating the show.
iOS and the ideal home
Apple's HomeKit will enable iOS users to control a variety of smart things from multiple makers, such as door entry and alarm systems, thermostats or lights.
"HomeKit introduces a new way for you to control supported devices in your home using Siri. That means you could use your voice to turn on lights or adjust the thermostat," Apple states.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, put it this way at WWDC: “In addition to being able to control individual devices in your home, with HomeKit you can group devices and changes into scenes, and then with Siri integration you can say something like ‘get ready for bed’ and be sure that your garage door is closed, your door is locked, the thermostat is lowered, your lights are dimmed. That’s HomeKit.”
People get ready
“Everyone’s getting ready,” Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom's senior director of embedded wireless told Forbes. “Expect to see new product launches in the next cycle of product releases.
iHome, Phillips, Elgato, Haier and Honeywell (which makes the smart Lyric thermostat to compete with Nest) are known to be putting together HomeKit compatible solutions. Apple has also announced Marvell, Osram Sylvania, August,
These solutions range from the Tianzun smart air conditioner from Haier to iDevices iGrill Mini to Phillips' popular Hue range of network-connected bulbs. They include Belkin's range of WeMo solutions and Withings' popular catalog solutions, including baby monitors.
That's not to say smart home solutions are new, they’re not. What’s changing here is that Apple is setting up an ecosystem that should enable third party solutions to easily work with iOS. You'll be able to control solutions from multiple sources using your Apple device.
While Apple has only announced a small number of HomeKit partners so far, this list will inevitably grow as it seeks to ensure HomeKit devices can be at the center of every smart home. Apple began accepting product plans for HomeKit devices following its MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad) Summit last week, says 9to5Mac.
What gives Apple an edge in this game is its market position. Already over 50 percent of tens of millions of active iOS device users run iOS 8, and HomeKit. This means there's an immediate market for these solutions once they ship -- along with a world-class retail presence across the company's chain of retail stores.
Apple's focus on privacy also comes into play: after all, no one is going to want their smart home to be vulnerable to attack; and few will willingly sacrifice privacy in their home in exchange for digital convenience.
What does this mean?
It means that when HomeKit solutions begin to hit market next year, Apple will once again be the talk of CES. As you might expect from a company that has been working toward solutions since way before 2012. And grabbing a hefty slice of a $71 billion market in the process. It's enough to make you want to train Siri. And you'll almost certainly need a connected hub to drive it all.
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