First HomeKit-Compatible Products Launching Today, Led by Lutron, iHome, Elgato, Insteon and Ecobee

HomeKit-iconAhead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, several of the company's HomeKit partners are today announcing the availability of the first HomeKit-compatible products. HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform, first introduced at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference.

HomeKit provides a standardized framework for manufacturers that develop home automation products, letting them interface with the Apple ecosystem and with each other. Through HomeKit, connected devices like lights, thermostats, speakers, smart plugs, and more can be controlled by Siri. For example, HomeKit enables commands like "Siri, turn off my lights," or "Siri, turn the temperature up before I get home."

Though HomeKit was announced in 2014, it has taken nearly a year for companies to complete Apple's certification process and get products ready for store shelves. Several companies like iDevices, Schlage, and Elgato have previously announced plans for HomeKit-compatible products, but until today, no products were ready to launch.

The first three companies to announce completed HomeKit-compatible products that will be available for purchase shortly are Lutron, iHome, and Elgato. Lutron is debuting 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. Ecobee and Insteon also announced new HomeKit-compatible products today.

Lutron's Smart Bridge, part of the Lighting Starter Kit, supports HomeKit and is designed to let users control their Lutron Caséta Wireless dimmers using Siri on an iPhone or iPad. The kit includes one Smart Bridge, two Caséta Wireless dimmers (which support dimmable LED, halogen, and incandescent bulbs), two remotes, and two pedestals.

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.
iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug fits into a standard wall socket and can use Siri or the iHome Control app to control lamps, fans, and other devices that are plugged in to the SmartPlug. The SmartPlugs support different "scenes" to control multiple connected devices within the home, and the app will allow multiple SmartPlugs to be grouped and controlled with a single command.

Up to two SmartPlugs are able to fit into a single wall socket and a Wi-Fi connection is required for the plugs to communicate with iOS devices. According to iHome, today's iSP5 SmartPlug is just one of several products that will include HomeKit support, with other accessories in the iHome Control line coming in the future.

The Eve brand of connected home sensors by Elgato, which the company announced last Fall, allow users to monitor air quality, smoke, humidity, air pressure, energy, and water consumption all with the ease of a synced iOS app. The line-up of different sensors each focus on a specific aspect of home detection: the Eve Room for indoor air quality, Eve Weather for outdoor temperature and humidity, Eve Door & Window for security notifications of open and closed points of entry into a house, and Eve Energy for basic energy consumption data and the control of electronic devices.

eve sensor 1
Some of the devices in the line aren't just simple sensors, either, with Eve Energy acting as a go-between for electrical-based devices and a wall outlet (although it's currently only available for European sockets). The product subsequently can monitor energy consumption of a device and can turn the product connected to it on and off at the touch of a button within the iOS app. Each of the products in the Eve family of home sensors are fully functional with Siri, allowing users to speak to their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to ask about temperature, the security of doors and windows, and control devices connected to Eve Energy.

The Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit is available for $229.95 at Apple Stores beginning today. iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug will be available for pre-order for $39.99 from the iHome website beginning June 15. Elgato's Eve sensors are up for pre-order starting today, ranging in price from $39.95 to $79.95.

Ecobee and Insteon also announced a new HomeKit-compatible smart thermostat and Insteon Hub for controlling a range of switches, outlets, thermostats, and lightbulbs respectively. In the coming weeks, there will be even more announcements as companies producing smart home products finish their work on HomeKit.

Mitchel Broussard contributed to this report.

Top Rated Comments

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61 months ago

I can't help it - US power sockets always look startled to me...

Or rather, they look... shocked. :D
Rating: 19 Votes
61 months ago
I can't help it - US power sockets always look startled to me...
Rating: 7 Votes
61 months ago
Them sockets looked worried.

And this seems like a nice place to drop this [MEDIA=youtube]UEfP1OKKz_Q[/MEDIA]
Rating: 7 Votes
61 months ago
I wanted to post about how cool this new HomeKit stuff is and how I can't wait for the prices to drop so that it'll be reasonable to replace a whole house with HomeKit supporting plugs but instead all I could think when I saw the article was that the top socket looks like he's angrily doing something to a surprised lower socket:
Rating: 7 Votes
61 months ago
Can't wait for Hue to work with HomeKit.
Rating: 4 Votes
61 months ago
Interesting... . this little tidbit on the Elgato page.... "...Controlling HomeKit-enabled accessories away from home requires an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with Apple TV software 7.0 or later and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8.1 or later."
Rating: 4 Votes
61 months ago

As geek-chic as it is to be able to control lights and such from your phone... Am I the only one who would rather just pick up a dedicated remote control with physical buttons?

Let's say I want to turn on the light. With a phone:

- Pick up phone.
- Unlock it.
- Open app.
- Find appropriate section of app to turn on/off the light
- Tap to turn it on or off.

With a dedicated remote:

- Pick up remote
- Without even looking at it, find the right button and hit it.

This sort of thing might be useful for controlling things when you're away from home, but I just can't fathom how this is better than a good old fashioned X10 remote with buttons on it. X10 also has controller modules that can give you control from your phone/computer in addition to the hard-buttoned remote, so you get the best of both worlds.

That's true but Homekit has Siri... *HOLD DOWN HOME BUTTON; "Hey Siri, Turn off Bedroom Lights" and done. ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
61 months ago
i like the concept of a smart home, but holy god, if it doesn't seem like dutifully placing yourself into an Orwellian 'Big Bro' home. any good articles lately on what smart homes will mean for privacy?
Rating: 2 Votes
61 months ago
I'd LOVE something like this that would let me know if my garage door is open... and then be able to close it if not. Anyone know of a solution?
Rating: 2 Votes
61 months ago

I'm just not seeing enough practical examples yet. It's far easier to flip a lightswitch than to turn a light on from an app on your phone.

All too true.

I'm not sorry I bought my GE Link Bulbs and the Wink Hub. But it made it very clear to me that Home Automation is really more potential at this point, rather than practical technological ways of making my life tangibly better/easier/more efficient.

So far I think that devices like the Nest Thermostat seem to have come closest to being successful examples of smart technology passing the dual hurdles of making economic sense, combined with finding the right mix of complexity versus convenience.

But then I think of all the other systems and subsystems in my home: The plumbing and waste water systems. The furnace itself.The various doors and windows.

A true "Smart Home" would tell you when had a leaky toilet valve; would let know when it was time to change the furnace filter. It would know to turn off the A/C system when you open the patio doors to let the cool breeze in. It would let me view a report of my energy and water use. Identify security or maintenance or indoor air quality problems.

I don't know if Home Kit will address any of these issues upon its release. Or if indeed it provides a framework to allow them to be built into future iterations.

But the whole Home Automation industry still needs, IMHO, some serious innovation if its going to move from neat gadgetry for the Tech crowd to play with; into a must-have technology builders and remodelers; homeowners and renters - are going to make a part of a significant number of our living spaces.
Rating: 2 Votes

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