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Apple introduced HomeKit to the tech world and changed the way in which consumers are incorporating technology into their lives. Apple made it easy for consumers to use their existing Apple devices in order to control utilities around them, and here are some of the latest advancements in the HomeKit and smart-home front.
Just this month, Incipio debuted a number of new additions that will be HomeKit compatible. The company unveiled the CommandKit Smart Outlet as well as the Wireless Smart Light Bulb Adapter, both of which will be available for purchase through Amazon.
The smart outlet functions similarly to other smart outlets, complete with voice controls or via an iPhone app. A cool (and useful!) added feature is that the outlet can help you track your energy usage through the device’s energy monitoring capabilities. The light bulb also comes with voice commands as well as useful dimming features for added functionality.
Another entry into the smart light bulb realm is the Hue Ambiance Light from Phillips. The new bulb strives to deliver all shades of white, with an innovative ‘Routines’ feature (available through the app) that changes the light’s hue to match your schedule. For instance, the light can slowly brighten as you wake up in the morning. There’s also a new ‘Nightlight’ feature within the Routines app. When activated, the bulb uses low-light and zero blue light (blue light has been shown to negatively affect sleep cycles) for night time use.
Long-standing HomeKit compatible Nest just updated their app on the 10th of this month, bringing with it new support for accounts and Nest Cam. Nest added Family Accounts to their app, allowing up to 10 users access to Nest products in the home via their own Nest app. Home/Away Assist was also added, which, according to the Nest blog, “uses learning algorithms and activity sensors” to keep energy usage down if no one is home.
In the end, some sources believe that Apple should create a dedicated HomeKit app in order to help efficiently and easily control all in-home tech accessories. Doing so would make for a better user experience and would help to filter out the third-party apps that are lackluster and incompetent when it comes to home automation. Rumor has it that an Apple-developed app has been circulating behind the scenes at Apple, but has yet to become available to the public. It is possible (and we hope) that new versions of iOS 9 will include the HomeKit app.