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You Can Now Try HomeKit at Dozens of Apple Stores Around the World

Apple has recently unveiled interactive HomeKit experiences in 46 of its retail stores worldwide, allowing customers to test out its smart home platform free of charge, according to TechCrunch.

Interactive HomeKit demo area at an Apple Store via TechCrunch

Each interactive setup consists of two vertical displays positioned behind an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch with the Home app, which customers can use to control accessories in the virtual room, such as lights and ceiling fans.
Now, when you go into Apple’s new retail stores, you’ll be able to use the Home app from either an Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad to control devices like the Phillips Hue light bulb, the Hunter ceiling fan and many others. If you tap to the lower the shades in the living room, for example, you’ll see the shades lower in the house shown on the screen.
In the United States, customers can try HomeKit at Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco, its World Trade Center and Williamsburg stores in New York City, and 28 other stores not named throughout the country.

The experience is also available until at least December in 15 stores outside of the United States, including select locations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

At every other Apple retail store, the company will be offering non-interactive HomeKit experiences, according to the report.

HomeKit enables Apple users to control lights, switches, thermostats, fans, and other products with its Home app and Siri voice commands. HomeKit-enabled accessories can be controlled singularly, or in scenes, which enable multiple accessories to work in combination, all with a single command.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
if they really want to get the word out they should setup a display at places like Home Depot and Lowes as well. My folks are iPhone/iPad people but they always purchase at BestBuy - they rarely venture into an Apple Store. Home Depot/Lowes on the other hand - they're always in there. Seems like apple could reach a lot more people that way.
Rating: 11 Votes
30 months ago
Where is the list of stores?
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
Very cool. I’m glad this is finally becoming stable and mainstream enough that many people who have never heard of it can walk into an Apple store and just discover it and play with it for the first time.
Rating: 4 Votes
30 months ago

If it´s anything like my experience, it´ll be "Updating..." or "No Responds" 50% of the time. Ha!

? Really what are you using ? I've 6 Philips hue lights and very rarely have connectivity problems
Rating: 4 Votes
30 months ago
I am at a loss on the value of such display. It is all synthetic and devoid of realism.

You launch an app, press a bottom or glide a slider up or down, and predictably the fixed display turns/attenuates on, or off, the virtual target. [Of course, it never fails. LOL!]

Mindless and totally boring.

At least they could have placed physical devices (locks, lights, fans, ...) to show their ease of remote control.

I think that Apple could have afforded to do much better. But that is just me.
Rating: 3 Votes
30 months ago
I think this virtual, interactive demo is a good balance of cost efficiency and functionality. It lets people with zero home automation experience see what it would be like to control lights, shades, locks, etc. via their Apple Watch or iOS device while still not taking up much room in the store. I agree with the comment above that this needs to move beyond Apple Stores into Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Maybe this is just a pilot and the broader roll out will occur once Home Pod is released.
Rating: 3 Votes
30 months ago

If it´s anything like my experience, it´ll be "Updating..." or "No Responds" 50% of the time. Ha!


This is my setup:
[MEDIA=youtube]akeYkBk1PWM[/MEDIA]

The only device that gives me issues is the Hunter Fan and that's due to how it was wired by the electrician who wired the room for a standard fan (one switch for lights and another for fan) I have to keep lights with on and fan switch off for hunter to work.

Anywhere in the world, I can tell my Siri on Apple Watch to do things and it responds within 2-3 seconds. Apple TV is set to always on as the hub.

The Schlegel deadbolts are sometimes 10 seconds to respond.

I've noticed anything without a hub that isn't hard wired is the slowest response time.
Rating: 2 Votes
30 months ago

I've been trying to find out more about HK stuff for a while now, online and at Apple stores. The main thing I'm trying to determine is if the number of HK devices will be limited by the number of wifi devices my router can support (32, already using over 20). Does the TV as a hub take care of this issue? I've been told that HK devices use Bluetooth, and also that they use wifi.

Homekit and WiFi or Homekit and Bluetooth are not one in the same. Homekit is the Apple application that uses a certified device process so you can manage the devices within your integrated application. WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, ZWave and the list goes on are communication methods used by the device makers for talking to the devices. That said...

If your AP has a device limit and the device brand you select uses WiFi you will have a limit. If the device uses Bluetooth, the AppleTV will talk to it directly. If the device uses another communication platform it will generally go along with a hub like Philips Hue and Lutron. Both of these brands have a hub you connect to your network which then talks to that brand of device. In most cases the hubs have a device limit of 50. You can be crafty to find ways around that but it can become a pain. The hub itself is the point where Homekit talks to the devices. You will see a status of each device on your screen but it goes through the hub.

If you want to automate and why not, its the main feature, you will need an iPad that stays home or an AppleTV 4. This will automate and provide access when away from your WiFi network. Most brands have a connect method too but its nice to see everything on one screen. I think this covers your few questions.
Rating: 1 Votes
30 months ago

This sounds like a good idea. I wonder which products they are “using” in their demo rooms to highlight HomeKit. I am interested in some automation but there are many options and varying degrees of ratings.



From the picture above it looks like it will be a "virtual demo." I'm guessing all the major HomeKit license devices and plugs can be tested out. It can't be limited just to what Apple Stores sell because HomeKit is bigger than that and I think Apple is trying to sell a system not a device they stock -- well except for the device that controls the entire HomeKit system, of course.
Rating: 1 Votes
30 months ago

I can't ask Siri to provide commands directly to my Harmony Hub which sends customized IR commands to my TV, Cable box, etc. Echo provides that integration and capability. I can issue a voice command to "Turn on TV", which will turn on the TV, Cable, audio source, etc. I can issue a command to "turn on <channel name>", or "Increase/Decrease volume". In essence, I don't have to reach for a remote and rarely do anymore. If the Harmony Hub was HK compatible, I could ditch the Echo dot I have in my den for an Apple HomePod.


Ah, that makes sense and it does seem like those features should be available. I also think Apple misunderstood what people find so compelling about the Echo devices. We don't like them because of the speaker quality (mostly), we like them because we can put one in every room and it does what we expect it to.
Rating: 1 Votes

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