Here's a first taste of Apple HomeKit in action
After more than a year of Apple teasing its smart home platform, we're finally getting a look at how some of the first HomeKit-enabled products will work with Siri.
In a series of demos held in New York City this week, Mashable got an up-close look at how HomeKit product owners will be able to use their voice (with the help of Apple's virtual voice assistant Siri) for commands from anywhere. By speaking into an iPhone or iPad, I was able to tell Siri to lock doors, dim lights and turn on a fan before bed.
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While it's too soon to tell exactly how these requests will play out in the home and just how willingly consumers will adopt smart home technology, it's clear Apple is positioning Siri to be the clear ringleader to keep its smart-home concept afloat.
Although there's an obvious strategy behind the move — you'll need an iOS device to turn your house into your voice-controlled machine, after all — there are complications, too. Siri isn't perfect; and if you're relying on her to unlock the doors in your home, you might run into some issues.
But Apple told Mashable it plans to educate the the public about how to use the various HomeKit-compatible gadgets coming later this summer and into the fall. As of now, only two products are available for purchase: An Insteon light control hub ($149.99) and the Lutron Caseta light dimmers ($229.95).
To introduce consumers to HomeKit, Apple said it will post guidelines and best practices to Apple.com that walk them through how they'll be able to pair HomeKit-enabled products with iOS devices. Apple will also add a list of commands to which Siri will respond.
In addition to saying things like "Siri, turn on the lights," users can get specific by setting up zones in the house. For example, you'll be able to say "turn off Chloe's light" or "set the Tahoe house to 72 degrees," if you're in another room or another state.
If you're particular to how you like a room before bed, with the lights turned down to 50% and a fan giving a slight breeze, you can tell Siri to "set my bedtime scene" and those appliances will automatically respond to your commands. For a look at how that works, check out the Vine below of a connected plug from iDevices. The Switch plug takes existing items like fans and table lamps and turns them into appliances that can be controlled via Siri.