At WWDC 2014, Apple introduced HomeKit as part of iOS 8. It’s a proprietary technology allowing iOS devices to securely connect to Home-Kit enabled accessories. At CES 2015, there were tons of HomeKit enabled home automation solutions. There are established names in the market already like the Belkin WeMo. Belkin was at CES 2015 to show off four new sensors with the Door & Window sensor, keychain sensor, Alarm sensor, and motion detector sensor. All four add to the existing plug, and light WeMo adapters to let you control those items with the Belkin WeMo app. These four new sensors will connect in a similar way, and are slated to launch in the second half of 2015 with no pricing announced. Belkin is also working on a Water sensor to track home water usage by connecting to your home’s plumbing system, though it’s just in the trial stage.
iDevices is another established name with connected home automation solutions. At CES 2015, they announced the Switch smart plug that lets you control anything you plug into it with the iDevices Connected app. It works over WiFi, as well as offering remote access, Siri control, and custom schedules. Switch is set to launch in the first half of 2015 for $49.99. Elgato had their own set of products with the Eve Energy able to monitor the energy usage of your house. The Elgato Eve Door & Window sensors act like the ones from Belkin to offer HomeKit enabled monitoring of your house.
The most intriguing entry might come from case, and charger manufacturer Incipio. They’re new to the home automation game, but at CES 2015 they announced the Direct Wireless Smart Outlet, Smart Lamp Adapter, and Power Strip. All three are HomeKit enabled allowing you to control the outlet, light bulb, or power strip from the Incipio DIRECT app. The app supports Siri voice commands, customized action sets, and proximity awareness. The most appealing part is the price with the outlet, and adapter coming in at $25 each, and the power strip costing $60 for the cheapest home automation accessories we have seen.
Finally, Insteon had their own compelling offering that foregoes individual adapters in favor of the Insteon Hub Pro. The Hub allows you to connect HomeKit enabled outlets, switches, light bulbs, thermostats, and more into Insteon’s HomeKit system. Insteon also announced a new app that supports multiple HomeKit devices from a variety of manufacturers. Rather than multiple apps from separate companies, you have one to control many of the HomeKit connected devices in your house. The Insteon Hub Pro is available to pre-order for $149.99.
It’s worth noting that Siri control of HomeKit devices when on the go requires an Apple TV, as reported by The Verge. An Apple TV is only required when using Siri control on the go, so if your iOS device is on the same WiFi network as your HomeKit device, or you use the accessory’s app on the go instead of Siri, then you don’t need an Apple TV.