First wave of HomeKit devices from Insteon, Lutron, others drop ahead of WWDC

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Just under one year after HomeKit was announced and less than a week before Apple's midsummer developers conference, the first devices certified for compatibility with the iPhone maker's new home automation framework have begun to hit shelves from companies like Insteon, Lutron, and iHome.




Insteon, which makes a wide range of smart home devices, is now shipping the Insteon Hub, a $149 device that adds HomeKit support to the company's existing lineup. A new HomeKit-enabled version of the Insteon+ control app is also on the way.

Lutron, another well-known home automation company, has updated its Caseta wireless lighting systems with HomeKit support. New users can pick up a starter kit from Apple Stores for $230, while existing Caseta users can add HomeKit capability by replacing just the bridge for $119.




iHome added a new SmartPlug,?which will be available for preorder next week. The SmartPlug can control any appliance --?even "dumb" appliances, like lamps -- via HomeKit.

Elgato, meanwhile, unveiled the the Eve lineup of environmental sensors. Eve --?which starts at $79.99 -- lets users collect data on air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, and energy consumption in their home. Additional sensors can monitor the status of doors and windows.




Ecobee is also in on the party, announcing that its flagship smart thermostat will gain HomeKit support later this summer. General Electric will join the fray in the future with its own line of smart bulbs.

The launches come after Apple promised that the first HomeKit-enabled products would begin shipping this month, following speculation that software problems had caused delays.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37

    Hmmm... interesting....  On elgato's site... "Controlling HomeKit-enabled accessories away from home requires an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with Apple TV software 7.0 or later and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8.1 or later."

  • Reply 2 of 37
    My guess: Apple wanted them to wait so it could show off how they are all interconnected at the Keynote.

    There better be a way for us to tell Siri what we want to name each device so we can get her/him to turn these devices in and off.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,078member
    Great timing. Now Apple can demo real devices at WWDC and developers can start coming up with new ways to utilize HomeKit.

    Now I wonder, who will be first developer with the killer App that will let you control devices from multiple manufacturers all seamlessly from a single App? Or perhaps Apple will show this?
  • Reply 4 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,756member
    TechCrunch has a more detailed article of what to expect and who's doing what with HomeKit-enabled devices.
    http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/here-are-the-first-connected-home-devices-for-apples-homekit/
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Now I wonder, who will be first developer with the killer App that will let you control devices from multiple manufacturers all seamlessly from a single App? Or perhaps Apple will show this?

    Eric, Apple HAS to do that - that's the whole point of HomeKit - a single language. Maybe other developers can give it a go too but if we want to have Siri control our apps, Apple is going to want to control that experience I reckon.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I doubt I'll ever understand the point of these 'keep you from having to stand up and walk a few feet' gadgets. We sit around too much. Getting up and about is good for our health. It make no sense.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,138member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I doubt I'll ever understand the point of these 'keep you from having to stand up and walk a few feet' gadgets. We sit around too much. Getting up and about is good for our health. It make no sense.

     

    So I assume you have your TV remote hidden?  Oh wait, you don't have a TV so you can't sit down in front of in the first place.   You're pretty short sited.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,756member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    So I assume you have your TV remote hidden?  Oh wait, you don't have a TV so you can't sit down in front of in the first place.   You're pretty short sited.
    Having some automation doesn't mean everything should be. At some point does it turn into a live-action Wall-E movie remake?

    And yes stepping away from the TV for the most part would be even better for your health and well-being IMO.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    kent909kent909 Posts: 709member
    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,756member
    kent909 wrote: »
    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.
    I would be surprised if Apple did not want it to be proprietary system. That generally works to their benefit from a revenue standpoint.

    Note too that your AppleTV (ver. 3 or better with at least OS7) can be your away from home hub.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    I need to see safety tests that have bene done on some of these products that are basically adapters for outlets. In general, it is unwise to connect any sort of plug/adapter/extension in between appliances and outlets. What have these rather cheap products done differently to suddenly make it safe to do so?

  • Reply 12 of 37
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.



    Agreed, and I thought this is where HomeKit was going. I am not going to buy Lights, Locks, and Wall Adapters that each need their own hub plugged into my router. Makes no sense at all.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    joe28753joe28753 Posts: 76member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.

     

    If you read the product pages on the Insteon site, it says that their software can control HomeKit devices and also Insteon devices. The Apple TV is required for remotely controlling HomeKit devices, but if you also have their app and sensors and switches and hub and all that, you can make "scenes" like "movie time" and integrate separate HomeKit devices into one of those scenes.

  • Reply 14 of 37
    kent909 wrote: »
    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.

    ? If you have Insteon switches and sensor devices already, AppleTV can't control them so those people get can - if they want - get the new Insteon Hub which will also let them control HomeKit devices.

    If someone does not have any home automation yet, and if they want to be able to control home devices while they are not at home, they get the Apple TV to be the hub for HomeKit devices.

    Many if these companies were here before Apple got involved so they do have propriety systems.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I doubt I'll ever understand the point of these 'keep you from having to stand up and walk a few feet' gadgets. We sit around too much. Getting up and about is good for our health. It make no sense.



    What are you even talking about? That makes no sense at all. Way to try and string two things together have no bearing on one another whatsoever. If the best you can do is imagine someone sitting on the couch turning lights and locks on and off from their phone, then you're a moron.

     

    Lights: the primary benefit I get from connected Lightbulbs is that every fixture I connect can be on a timer/schedule. My house is also very poorly wired, so there are very few wall switches; I'd rather the lights be on a timer than have to constantly be pulling chains and turning knobs everywhere. Exercise not being a factor here at all.

     

    Locks: 100% certain that exercise and mobility is not a factor here. Remote control over your locks gives you security that you don't otherwise have.

     

    I could go on, but won't. Clearly you don't have the imagination to keep up.

  • Reply 16 of 37
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post





    Many if these companies were here before Apple got involved so they do have propriety systems.

     

    What remains to be seen is if you can buy the new AppleTV, and skip having to buy the "hub" with any of these products. The "hub" is just a dumb wireless-enabler. HomeKit compatible devices should be able to skip that in favor of something like an AppleTV.

     

    If that is not what this is all leading towards, its a huge mistake and missed opportunity.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    bobjohnsonbobjohnson Posts: 154member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

     

    What remains to be seen is if you can buy the new AppleTV, and skip having to buy the "hub" with any of these products. The "hub" is just a dumb wireless-enabler. HomeKit compatible devices should be able to skip that in favor of something like an AppleTV.

     

    If that is not what this is all leading towards, its a huge mistake and missed opportunity.






    That is probably how it will go for most HomeKit-enabled devices that are released from now on, but entrenched companies like Insteon can't just abandon their existing tech stack. It will be a hub-to-hub thing for at least a couple years, if you want something from the big boys.

  • Reply 18 of 37
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 147member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    I doubt I'll ever understand the point of these 'keep you from having to stand up and walk a few feet' gadgets. We sit around too much. Getting up and about is good for our health. It make no sense.

    Real life example: We have Nest thermostats. My wife is a violin teacher. The thermostat for the room where she teaches is about 10 meters away in a different room. Using her iPhone she can adjust the thermostat without getting up and leaving the room and, thus, interrupting the flow of instruction.

  • Reply 19 of 37
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    I don't get this hub concept. Would it not make more sense to make the Apple TV the hub and use software to control all the devices from there? Unless having a separate hub means your system is proprietary and you cannot mix and match devices. Therefore making more money at the expense of limiting the possibilities. Capitalism at it's best.



    Insteon is a current protocol and hookup that uses the electric wires in your house plus wireless for communication.  What the Insteon Hub does is allow you to tie this existing Insteon based system you have in your house into a HomeKit network.  So if you have existing Insteon sprinkler controller, garage door opener, light switches, etc (like I do) you can now integrate this into your HomeKit based network (but I don't use the Insteon hub, rather I use a Mac mini with Indigo and an Insteon controller).  Think of it as a bridge for existing Insteon controls to your HomeKit network.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    mieswallmieswall Posts: 71member
    AppleTV as the home hub (this will be the big news of WWDC, imho). Then a proprietary system with a sub-hub for their devices. Makes sense this branched architecture. The second (third, fourth..) hub acts as the interface between HomeKit and the things they make. So, they need to certify just the hub, not a lot of other stuff. These thingies can be 'light' in this scheme, with all the protocol complexity managed by that sub-hub.
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