Apple announced at it’s annual WWDC conference that it would be entering the home automation market with the introduction of Apple’s HomeKit. HomeKit will be a single app that will control 3rd party devices such as Nest thermostats, lighting control, door locks, garage door control, motorized shades, and more. Interestingly absent was any announcement of Apple entering the hardware market for home control devices. However, this is a smart move by Apple as the iPhone and iPad are the keys to unlocking the potential for home automation. Devices come and go, but the experience that Apple supplies through it’s iOS devices is hard to beat. This provides two distinct advantages for Apple. One is that as the iPhone develops more applications such as HomeKit and HealthKit, (more on that later), the more reliant their customers become on their hardware and operating system. Currently, Android can do pretty much everything that the iPhone can do. But once you consider the investment in apps and iTunes and add to that seemless control of your home and health monitoring, now you have deepened the connection to Apple’s ecosystem.
It will be interesting to see how Nest, which is owned by Google and is the best selling home automation device in the world, will be received by Apple. Nest was noticeably absent from the list of home devices that Apple plans to partner with. Even though they are sold in Apple Stores and Apple’s website. Google purchased Nest last year for $3.2B. No doubt Nest will be developing more devices for the home automation market in the months to come.
There are still many questions yet to be answwered, but home automation for most of us is here. Enjoy!