HomeKit is Apple’s attempt to bring all your smart devices together into a single ecosystem. In Apple’s future your smart dock-lock will talk to your smart lights, and your smart thermostat will be able to work seamlessly with your smart ceiling fan.
Now with iOS 10, Apple is also allowing you to control all your HomeKit-supported devices through a single app.
Of course any smart home ecosystem is only as good as the products it supports, so without further ado, here’s our list of everything that currently or plans to work with HomeKit.
Smart internet connected thermostats were one of the first areas in which the connected home began to take hold, but unfortunately the market leader, Nest, has not announced HomeKit support.
Whether this will arrive at a later date, or whether Google’s ownership of the company will prevent it permanently is unclear, but thankfully there are a number of other HomeKit enabled thermostats to equip your smart home with.
Ecobee3 is one of the bigger players in the smart thermostat space, and allows you to use a range of sensors to measure temperatures across the whole of your house.
Netatmo’s smart thermostat system is set to soon take its multi-room heating capabilities to the next level thanks to the addition of a range of smart radiator valves to its range, meaning that soon you’ll be able to control your home’s heating on a room-by-room basis.
Other thermostats to consider / coming soon:
Lights are another key area for the connected home. Their manufacturers advertise that you can use them to save money on your electricity bill (by having them turn off automatically when you’re away for example), or even act as a burglary deterrent by turning on and off to trick a potential thief into believing you’re home.
Philips has invested heavily in its Hue series of smart light bulbs. It offers a variety of models from light strips to standard white bulbs to colored bulbs, and so long as you have the square-type hub then they’ll all work with HomeKit. If you’ve got one of the older round Hue bridges then you’ll have to upgrade to get into Apple’s ecosystem.
Lutron is a bit of an outlier in the connected lighting market since they focus more on the light switches than the bulbs themselves, but rest assured they’ll all work with your HomeKit setup.
Other bulbs to consider / coming soon:
Smart lighting is all well and good, but smart power outlets allow you to use your phone to control a variety of items around your house.
Naturally if you want to simply use the plugs to turn on lamps around your house you can, but you can also use them to make sure your TV’s standby mode isn’t drawing too much power by having it automatically turn off at the plug, or set it up with dangerous equipment like hair straighteners so that you can have peace of mind that they’re turned off when you’re out of the house.
These smart outlets are not just controllable remotely but also allow you to keep track of energy usage.
Meanwhile iDevices produce both indoor and outdoor switches.
Other power outlets to consider / coming soon:
You might be hesitant to entrust your home’s security to a smart connected device, but HomeKit certification requires security to be built into the hardware of the device itself. So long as your smart lock has the stamp of approval from Apple you know that the data its sending in end-to-end encrypted, which should prevent anyone from hacking your front door.
If you do decide to invest in a smart lock you’ll find it has a number of advantages, from being able to gain entry to your house using your phone, assigning ‘guest keys’ to friends, and even remotely letting people into your house.
August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock allows you to use your phone as a key, and thanks to its HomeKit integration you can even use Siri to lock and unlock your door.
Schlage’s Sense Smart Deadbolt not only allows you to unlock your home using Siri or your phone, but also has a number pad on it which guests can use to gain entry after you’ve assigned them a pin.
Distinct from smart locks, smart doorbells are a means of checking on visitors to your house remotely. Pressing the doorbell activates a small security camera, which can usually then be viewed remotely on your phone, allowing you to give instructions to delivery people and other visitors to your home.
Ring is a smart doorbell that gives you a video feed from your front door. It allows you to talk to delivery drivers, and also allows you to set up motion-detection to alert you when someone’s on your property. HomeKit support is coming in early 2017.
Similar to Ring, Skybell doesn’t currently support HomeKit, but hopes to integrate Apple’s service soon.
Smart smoke alarms allow you learn that your house is on fire from your phone, and when paired with HomeKit can allow for interesting safety features such as having all your lights turn on to allow you to more easily escape your house.
First alert produces a HomeKit-enabled alarm that works as a carbon monoxide detector in addition to detecting both smoke and fire.
We’ve already discussed smart doorbells that come equipped with security cameras, but a number of companies are also producing HomeKit enabled cameras, which you can use to protect and monitor your house.
Other security cameras to consider / coming soon:
They might not be the sexiest home automation devices around, but smart sensors will be an essential building block of the smart home. They’ll be the ones to provide feedback to your other smart devices, such as knowing when your front door’s been opened.
In addition to its other smart home products, Elgato also produces door and window sensors to let you know whether they’re open or closed, and they’re fully integrated with HomeKit.
Air conditioner / fans
The last thing you want to do is waste money cooling an empty home, or even worse cooling a home that’s already cool enough. Smart air conditioning systems and fans can help you avoid these energy-wasting mistakes.
Haier’s Jingbo air conditioning unit was the world’s first to support Apple HomeKit when it was announced at IFA 2015. However as of September 2016 it doesn’t yet appear to have been released.
Hunter has produced two HomeKit-enabled ceiling fans, the Symphony and the Signal. The two also include LED lighting.
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