Showing posts with label HomeKit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HomeKit. Show all posts

Saturday, January 6, 2018

ConnectSense Debuts New HomeKit-Compatible Smart In-Wall Outlet

If you want to have a greater command over your home environment and also control and monitor the power usage in your home, then ConnectSense Smart In-Wall outlet will help you do just that.

The ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet is an addition to Apple’s HomeKit technology which will be available later in the year 2018. At the end of 2015, ConnectSense had launched their original external Smart Outlet which was compatible with the HomeKit.

ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet

The ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet can be installed in your home just like any usual outlet. It is designed to blend in with the room décor as well as provide all the benefits of HomeKit control. The ConnectSense Outlet makes any product smart and also provides power monitoring and plug detection features. Any of the devices plugged in the ConnectSense outlet can be controlled by the ConnectSense app, the HomeKit app, built-in touch controls or your voice using Siri.

It comes with two WiFi connected outlets that can be controlled and monitored individually. When a device has been plugged in, the outlets have plug detection to sense it. All your plug-in devices like fans, lights, heaters, televisions can be controlled and monitored from your iPhone or iPad. You can control your home settings with customized scenes. If you want a scene to turn off the lights, lock your doors, set the room to the desired temperature, all of this can be done in one simple step.

It has two buttons on the right to turn on or off each outlet individually. On the left there is a 2.4 amp USB charging port for quick charging of your iPad, iPhone and other devices. With the help of the Energy monitoring, you can also see the power usage of the various devices via an app on your iPhone or iPad.

In addition to using the ConnectSense Outlet in the house, the Smart In-Wall Outlet will also be able to function in commercial establishments such as offices, airports and various other places using both the 15A and 20A options.

In the box, you will get the ConnectSense Smart In-Wall outlet containing the WiFi Dual Smart Plug, an 8-Digit pin code and a Quick Start Guide.

Installing ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet

When you plug the In-Wall Smart outlet into the wall, click on the WiFi settings on your iPhone or iPad. At the bottom, you will see a sub menu ‘Set Up New Device’ showing the ConnectSense outlet name. By clicking on it, the Smart outlet is automatically connecting to the WiFi network without actually entering the WiFi password. Install the ConnectSense app from the App Store. You need to add your first Smart Outlet device and it should automatically find it. Enter in the 8-digit pin code that comes in the box along with the Smart Outlet plug. The Smart outlet will be installed.

The price of this device has not been announced, but it should be available for purchase later this year.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Apple Strategy in "Smart Home" Race Threatened by Amazon

Within a few years of launching the Echo speaker system in a bid turn modern homes into smart home Amazon is seen as a driving force in the ‘smart home’ segment. This particular system designed by the Amazon has shown its ease of use technology to the users wherein they can control wide array of gadgets within few commands.

The success achieved by the Amazon is set to get stiff competition not just from the Apple but also from the Google in upcoming future. Amazon has used open-system approach which results in quick development with more number of feature inclusion but Apple on other hand is taking a slower path which stems from its habit of keeping as much control over the technology as possible in order to infuse security and ease of use.

The key household devices which are finding their way in the emergence of the smart home include everything from the lighting system to the refrigerators. Amazon Alexa currently has over 250 devices working on its smart home system and Amazon brings a certain portion of financial incentives to its partners to keep them glued on its system. On other hand Apple’s Homekit has just 100 certified devices at the moment due to strict guidelines set by the Apple in order to ensure security as well as to bring rewards in returns.

Apple Homekit for smart home

In order to be a part of the Apple’s smart home and to be placed in the Apple’s gadget ecosystem manufacturers are required to insert a special chip in their devices. The price of this chip may vary anywhere between 50 cents to $2 as per the volume of the devices they are making at a single go. Apart from this chipset manufacturers will also have to buy certain specific WiFi and Bluetooth networking chips.

Furthermore manufacturers have to send their products to the Apple in order to test their compatibility with its system. This process is lengthy as it takes anywhere around three to five months and even device manufacturers are abstained from publicly stating that they are opting for the Homekit certification.

Amazon has an ‘open’ approach

Amazon has kept Alexa as a spate entity which deals with all the things ‘smart home’. It specifically deal with the smart home companies which happens to write software code and then submits it back to the Amazon for further review. Amazon has laid some simple yet influential steps to acquire the ‘Works with Alexa’ label for their products which will help in boosting sales on its shopping portal.

Startups are required to get their products physically tested by the Amazon before it showcases on the shopping portals. Amazon sacrifices the security portion on its smart home initiative as it can’t guarantee such in the third-party devices. Apple is actively working towards eliminating the security issue on its platform by keeping a strict guideline and policy which will eventually bring an advantage to Apple over Amazon.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hunter debuts first HomeKit-connected ceiling fans


Hunter’s Ceiling Fan Models with Smartphone Connectivity Support

With the CES announcement on the success of Apple’s product ecosystem, which includes Apple’s internet of things HomeKit procedure, Hunter Fan Company revealed two Wi-Fi enabled ceiling fans with smartphone connectivity support. Hunter intends to introduce two fan models in the Symphony and Signal which would be featuring Wi-Fi technology together with HomeKit support for smart home mechanizations as well as voice control through Apple’s Siri virtual assistant.

Besides the app based remote control abilities, the connected fans could be activated by utilising the geolocation functions of HomeKit or included as part of a larger scene macro. For instance, users could set a geolocation trigger to turn off fan light, lock the doors and draw the blinds when they intend leaving their house.

Moreover, the fans assimilate with the prevailing smart phone products such as connected thermostats as well as the other HomeKit enabled devices in providing complete automation features. The fan’s dimmable LED light, for instance could be triggered to illuminate when a HomeKit smoke detector tends to go off. The Symphony and the Signal presently are the only ceiling fans which tend to support Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform and they are also the first connected home products of Hunter Fan Company.

Symphony & Signal – Scenes & Triggers

The Symphony and Signal ceiling fans besides being connected to a home’s Wi-Fi network are controlled with Siri voice commands with the capabilities to interface with other HomeKit products such as light and thermostats for a full connected home experience with the use of Scenes and Triggers.

For instance, with a Scene, a home owner having several HomeKit products can at the same time lock door, turn on the lights as well as turn the fan off. With a Trigger, the fan could be set to come on in certain situations like when a HomeKit connected fire alarm tends to detect smoke. John Alexander, Hunter Fan CEO has commented that `their ceaseless innovation is why Hunter Fan is the industry leader and these new Wi-Fi enabled fans together with the support for Apple HomeKit are a testament to the heritage of progress and originality.

 They are beautiful, affordable, high quality pieces of décor which tends to bring state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology where it may not be expected – the ceiling fan. As we celebrate 130 years, we have several exciting developments to share with the customers and are proud to kick off 2016 at CES with Symphony and Signal’.

Dimmable Integrated Lighting/WhisperWind Functions

The fans tend to measure around 54 inches and are provided with dimmable integrated lighting together with WhisperWind functions for the purpose of powerful air movement with quiet operation. While the Symphony fan has a modern design with white blades, the Signal has wood finished blades with satin nickel housing.

Symphony will be priced at $329 and Signal will be offered at $379. The HomeKit connected fans of Hunter Fan Company would be made available for purchase towards the beginning of spring of 2016 from the company’s website as well as from Amazon, Lowe, HomeDepot and many others.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ecobee Becomes the First Homekit Thermostat

Ecobee3 Support Apple HomeKit

Ecobee Inc. recently had announced that the ecobee3 smarter Wi-Fi thermostat now tends to support Apple HomeKit enabling users to manage their environment in a better manner for comfort with regards to issues in their home. The company’s award winning thermostat introduced in 2009, had helped hundreds of consumers in controlling their home comfort, anytime and from anywhere, with the use of their smartphone, computer or tablet.

Connected thermostats are an easy choice in making a home a bit smarter and with the aid of the new HomeKit supported version of Ecobee; it could make things much easier. This amazing designed smart ecobee3 developed by the world’s first Wi-Fi connected smart thermostat is the first smart thermostat built with the support of the HomeKit which would be made available to consumers at Apple Stores in July at $250.

 Designed for the home with several rooms, the ecobee3 smarter Wi-Fi thermostat and remote sensors tend to measure the temperature as well as the occupancy in various locations. The outcome is increase in comfort when one is at home and energy saver while away. Ecobee3 considers varying temperature and starts preserving energy, delivering savings instantly on installation and saves homeowners with an average of 23 percent on their heating as well as cooling consumption.

Group Actions & Activate with Siri

Apple had introduced HomeKit in iOS for the purpose of communication and control connected accessories in the home of the user. It could be used to discover HomeKit accessories as well as configure them and utilise in creating actions in controlling those devices. Users could group actions together and activate them with the use of Siri.

The HomeKit is built on protected foundation with end to end encryption wherein customers are provided with secured connection between their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with HomeKit enabled attachment. Ecobee3 has been designed to be well-suited with 95% of residential heating and cooling systems in North America and does not need a C-wire while using the included Power Extender Kit.

Theoretically, Ecobee does not seem to be the only thermostat which works with HomeKit; however it is the only one which does not need a separate hub device like the Insteons’ thermostat and HomeKit hub. Ecobee3 users can control the thermostat using Siri voice commands like other HomeKit enabled products and can also handle various actions into scenes such as enabling users to turn down the heat and switching off connected lighting with a command.

Similar to Existing Version with Touch Display

In case of Apple TV as a hub, user can control HomeKit devices with Siri away from the house also. Besides HomeKit support, the new version Ecobee3 is similar to the existing version and has a touch display on the device offering companion apps for controlling temperature from phone, computer or tablet or Apple Watch. It also comes with a remote motion and temperature sensor which tends to adjust the home’s temperature based on which rooms are occupied.

Additional sensors are available at a cost of $79 each. However, for the existing Ecobee users, there is presently no system to add HomeKit support to previous models. Those who would not prefer the Apple platform, Ecobee is selling the non-HomeKit model at a discount price of $20.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Apple's Siri Has New Role in New 'Smart' Home Systems

The First Smart Home Gadget - Siri

Apple had announced its HomeKit project last year but now has taken over the home gadget wherein users would be able to talk to everything from light bulbs to A/c. The first smart home gadgets which will be controlled by Apple’s voice activated digital assistant will be on sale shortly just prior to its rival giant Google’s announcement of the building of its own software for Internet connected home appliances and other gadgets. It will enable firms to utilise the Apple’s Siri voice recognition in controlling their home.

The latest products would be important for the developing industry of smart or connected homes where thermostats, appliances as well as door lock tends to contain computer chips which communicate wirelessly. However, several companies are working on the same products, analyst state that Apple would convince consumers in trying them out to make it easy in controlling various products from familiar devices like the iPhone. The HomeKit certified product which will be hitting the market includes wireless hubs from two companies, Insteon and Lutron Electrons. The hubs which are about the size of a small home router or cable TV box tends to act as the central controller for lights as well as other gadgets.

Hub Handled With Smartphone App

The hub on the other hand can be handled with a smartphone app. For instance, Lutron Electronics is offering $230 for a starter kit with its Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge hub together with two dimmer units for wall switches or plug-in units for lamps which are controlled by the hub while Insteaon states that its hub would be working with compatible lights, power switches and thermostats.

In the coming weeks, it is presumed that there will be three other companies selling HomeKit thermostats, climate sensors and power plugs. Similar products could be purchased from these companies which tend to have their very own smartphone app in controlling them and the tie-in with Apple would mean that a user could control those apps with the voice activated digital assistant, Siri, on Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Users would have to link with an Apple TV box in order to control from outside the house.

HomeKit Software – Meet Standards for Compatibility

Apple is also of the opinion that products utilising HomeKit software need to meet standards for compatibility in order to function with HomeKit products that could be made by other manufacturers as well as for encryption in order to keep hackers from taking control over a system or to steal user information. As Apple wants Siri to play a leading role in smart homes, it main rivals also wants it. Google has recently announced that it would be creating Brillo software, asa common platform for Internet connected gadgets in the home or for commercial setting while Microsoft as well as Samsung is promoting software which would be capable of controlling home systems.

According to research firm International Data Corp, global market for `Internet of Things’, which is the concept of connecting household devices to the Internet, would triple to $1.7 trillion by 2020.It stated that `devices, connectivity and IT services would be making up the majority of the IoT market by 2020. Technology firms like Google Inc., Cisco systems, Intel Corp, Samsung electronics as well as telecoms majors such as Vodafone and Verizon have been betting greatly on Internet devices which are connected to home for the future profit and revenue.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Apple HomeKit Powers On With iDevices Switch Smart Plug

iDevices Switch – World’s First HomeKit Enabled Plug

Users of iPhone and iPad who have been waiting anxiously for news in the HomeKit connected product space, after Apple’s announcement at WWDC 2014 and CES 2015 will be seeing new consumer electronics making way in the market which includes the first devise compatible with Apple’s smart home feature.

The iDevices Switch has been described as `the world’s first HomeKit enabled plug’ helping users to control connected appliances with the help of Siri. The iDevices Switch specifically is a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected plug which interfaces with the wall outlet and to connect the appliance, one could plug it into the electrical outlet on the wall and plug your lamp, fan, or any appliance or device needed to power in the Switch.

The iDevices Switch can connect to home Wi-Fi network, interfacing with the iDevices Connected iOS app and is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit features. This indicates that users could also use Siri commands from iOS 8 with the capabilities to power appliances on or off by only talking to the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Connected to Home Network – Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

The Switch is not the first smart plug, Many others namely Belkin, D-Link to mention a few have sold connected power plugs for several years. There is not much difference on the premise behind Switch, than its predecessors and due to networking capabilities, built in the outlet hardware, one can use the smartphone in order to manage things plugged into the Switch.

The Switch can connect to home network via Wi-Fi and through Bluetooth can also connect to other devices which do not have Wi-Fi. For instance, smart door locks usually tend to run on batteries since hardwiring is not practical for several residential door designs and to save power, majority of the smart locks utilise Bluetooth which connect to the phone and relies on some type of hub in order to get out to larger internet. Since it incorporated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the iDevices’ Switch acts as the hub.

Stand alone Product

Schlage, lock-maker will have a connected HomeKit compatible lock which could take advantage of this feature. The Switch operates as a standalone product which does not need any additional hub, subscription service or any add-ons and its connected app moreover adds the ability to schedule as well as automate tasks with the iDevices Switch, thereby saving the user from manually controlling it.

The company is likely to schedule the shipping in the first half of this year, with its demo conducted at CES, though its pricing is not yet disclosed. Potential consumers interested in following the availability of the Switch could sign up at the bottom of its product page, to receive notification for product updates.

Besides, iDevices’ announcement of HomeKit enabled smart plug at CES, iHome too shares its plans bringing in its own iSP5 SmartPlug in the market with a demo at the Consumer electronics Show soon, though no announcement with regards to its pricing and availability has been revealed. Some are speculating that the Switch would be costing $49.99 when it will be made available later this year. The Switch also will have a built in colour customizable night light, a charming touch added to it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple HomeKit-Enabled Chips

Apple HomeKit
Apple HomeKit Firmware

Apple had announced its program at the developers’ conference for hooking smart home devices in iOS with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth though in order to get the device makers on board, they would need the Apple certification wherein one part of the certification process would be to buy their Bluetooth as well as the Wi-fi chips from Apple approved chipmakers.

Chipmakers, Broadcom and Texas Instruments have already begun shipping out Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip that have been installed with Apple HomeKit firmware to manufacturers and the HomeKit enables devices would be hitting the market very soon.

Though Apple has not yet made an official launch of the HomeKit, device makers could start putting together their gadgets since they now have the wireless chip which has been equipped with the HomeKit firmware. Senior director of embedded wireless in mobile and wireless group at Broadcom states that `everyone is getting ready and expecting to see the new product launch in the next cycle of product releases’.

 The HomeKit protocol ascertains how the devices are identified in iOS depending on defined device categories as well what type of action could be taken for instance, `turn on or turn off a light’. The will enable the interactions between devices to be more consistent and reliable than with the earlier wireless interaction in a home automation technology.

Communicate & Control Products in Connect Home Ecosystem

HomeKit, within iOS 8 framework enables iPhone and iPad owners to communicate as well as control products in a connected home ecosystem. Manufacturers and developers could build in support for task macros or groups of action and invoke functions in the device utilising the Siri virtual assistant.

According to Bedrosian, he states that `one thing HomeKit provides is the bridging protocols for various devices to connect simply by Wi-Fi to the cloud. Broadcom, so far has been shipping its Bluetooth Wi-Fi combo chip loaded with HomeKit firmware to several device makers which also includes makers of connected climate controls, security cameras, lighting and door locks.

Broadcom has been doing great business in selling its wireless chips to Apple and its silicon is found in the iPhone as well as its upcoming Apple Watch and its focus now is on smart home business.

Better Consumer Experience – Controlling Home Devices 

Since Apple is still in the process of finalizing the protocol, there is a possibility that the firmware on the chips that would come out would probably be updated. The firmware is in the beta versions of HomeKit according Broadcom’s Bedrosian though device manufacturers would be capable of updating the firmware remotely as HomeKit software develops gradually.

Device makers who tend to manage to get certified, Apple’s entrance could be a great achievement for them since by marketing and labelling a connected thermostat or light bulb as Apple friendly, companies could promise easier installation process as well as more interoperability between the devices.

Bedrosian informed that Apple has been widening access to their ecosystem and more products would be seen. He further states that `the goal is to create better consumer experience for iOS ecosystem to provide simple and unified approach in controlling home devices and this is the first wave of several products’.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple TV – Hub of Digital Home with Twitter and Facebook Integration

Developer notes connected with the updated beta software for Apple TV relates to the device used to `test HomeKit with the help of iOS apps’, with implication that the Apple TV will now become the hub of the digital home.

Moreover an analyst has also stated that Apple will be working with Twitter and Facebook in bringing about these apps to the Apple TV. HomeKit had been working with Apple TV from the time of the first iOS 8.0 update as per an unknown source.

On testing the HomeKit protocol, the app developer had stated that when the Apple TV was turned on, the interactions between the iPhone and the simulated devices were quicker, reliable and smoother than with the Apple TV turned off. iOS developers have the potential to play around in the simulator that Apple provides them due to the fact that HomezKit does not work along with any present connected devices since there are no HomeKit certified devices in the market.

Viewers can expect to see HomeKit certified devices likely to show up in the forthcoming year. Apple had also announced a series of official hardware partners who were keen on building their devices to suit Apple’s HomeKit specifications at the forthcoming iOS developers’ conference in June and some of the official partners include August Smart Lock, Honeywells’s Lyric thermostat and Philips Hue light bulb.

Remote Access Point for Devices in the Home

Apple TV is a tiny box which plugs to the TV and connects wirelessly to the internet to enable access to films. iTunes music, TV programmes and much more features. The Apple TV seems to be the device which can be used to control all the devices in the home and the latest beta software includes `support for Family Sharing’ and can also be used for testing Airplay and HomeKit with iOS apps.

Apple TV would probably be a remote access point for devices within the home which could be accessed through iCloud from any location. We are all aware that Apple TV features HomeKit support but this is the first time that Apple has make a reference to it with regards to Apple TV and a Forbes source revealed that the 7.0 update Apple TV provides added support for HomeKit. The source also claims that the Apple TV would be serving as the central hub of the HomeKit features stating that the `HomeKit support is built in the Apple TV firmware.’

Access to Facebook & Twitter via Apple TV

Rumours are on that Apple will also be offering access to Facebook and Twitter through the Apple TV. Chowdhry of Global Equities Research Trip is of the belief that Apple is on its way working with Facebook and Twitter in bringing those apps to the Apple TV and the addition of these apps would be part of a Social TV.

The purpose is that some TV channels would be showing Tweets using a particular hastag at the bottom of the screen when the program will be aired and with limited live content available to watch on the Apple TV, tweets could be timed so that they tend to appear at the right time schedule.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple TV Support to HomeKit App

It was reported that Apple has updated its Apple TV boxes enabling them to support the brand’s HomeKit app.

The HomeKit is Apple’s attempt to make the home smarter by providing home gadgets, software which is designed to control home automation systems, by introducing protocolto communicate which can connect domestic devices from an iOS device with all the safety as well as simplicity that the iOS environment could provide.

HomeKit support was first included in late beta version of Apple TV Software update 7.0 that had been released along with iOS 8 recently. According to Aaron Tilley of Forbes though the Apple’s official update documentation was unavailable, the HomeKit frameworks did make the shipping update.

Apple has always been doing far progressive thinking and with the latest update it would be making a great leap from the computer world to the living room world in an era where Smart TV functions have begun to strain from the PC and AV environment.

Apple TV Box with Integrated Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Capabilities 

The HomeKit app control app was first introduced to Apple tablets and phone as the latest iOS 8 update though the main element was missing from the ecosystem, which was a device that bridged the gap between the domestic gadgets and the tablets as well as the phones resulting in the Apple TV box together with its integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities making its appearance.

With this latest entry, Apple TV would be the hub which will combine the fragmented smart home industry enabling users to turn on lights or unlock the door from an iPhone remotely with the help of Apple TV being a bridge device.

With both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technology as the primary technologies connected devices to communicate in the iOS environment and the Apple TV being always at home, makes it as a hub to communicate with smart devices, an ideal idea.

HomeKit First Software Salvo

With the entry of the HomeKit on the Apple TV box, there could be changes in an instant which proves that Apple is no longer making conduits which tends to simplify the access to the computer and online worlds.

Instead of keeping the home at arm’s length, Apple seems keen in getting involved in every area of the home as well as every part of the domestic life. In June, it was predicted by AppleInsider that the Apple TV was the most likely HomeKit hardware product from Apple.

Many have speculated that Apple’s HomeKit seems to be the first software salvo in the home and iLights and iLocks would soon be following it. This choice could now be more certain since millions of third generation Apple TVs are already available at individuals’ home which can serve the purpose.

According to Tilley, it was stated that anyone with a third generation Apple TV together with the latest 7.0 software update would probably have a HomeKit enabled central hub whether they are aware of it or not.

Apple refrained from commenting about the HomeKit at the summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference though it could be an indication that more developments are in the pipeline probably as early as the rumoured media event which is to be held somewhere by the end of October.