“Apple didn’t attend last week’s gadget show but its presence was felt. Many companies have designed “smart” home products that integrate with Apple’s HomeKit, an emerging technology for controlling lights and appliances through a mobile app,” Anick Jesdanun writes for The Associated Press. “HomeKit’s strength is its ability to group products into ‘rooms,’ ‘zones” and ‘scenes.’ With one tap, you can turn off every HomeKit product in a room, such as lights and stereos. You can also do that with a group of rooms, or zone. You can even use the Siri voice assistant to control your home. Saying ‘I feel hot’ might prompt Siri to turn on the air conditioner and lower the shade for you.”
“Setting up a ‘bedtime’ scene might involve leaving just the nightlight on, while locking the front door and lowering the heat downstairs,” Jesdanun writes. “Sure, you can already control a set of lights and appliances by attaching them to a power strip with an on-off switch, but your options are limited to all on or all off. With HomeKit, you have the option of creating multiple combinations to match whatever ambiance you prefer.”
“The first requirement is an iPhone or an iPad with iOS 8. (Sorry, Android and Windows users, you’ll need a different system),” Jesdanun writes. “OK. Now you’ll need a HomeKit-capable product; those will start coming out in a few months. HomeKit-enabled products certified by Apple will carry a HomeKit logo. The easiest way to start is with a HomeKit power plug, such as ones that iHome, iDevices and Grid Connect soon plan to sell for $40 to $80 each. Your appliance hooks into that plug, which then goes into a regular electric outlet.”
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