These are the most exciting products coming to Apple's HomeKit home automation platform in...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 12
The HomeKit accessory market has exploded, with a significant number of new accessories already planned to debut by year's end. Here are the most exciting options that we're expecting to see in 2018.




HomeKit has a bright future ahead. Accessory makers are lining up to bring accessories to market, and each year at WWDC Apple adds new accessory types and features. The release of iOS 11 was particularly useful for HomeKit users and manufacturers.

Faucets, sprinklers, and speakers all gained support, accessories can now pair with QR codes and NFC, timers can revert scenes after a set amount of time, and more. Apple also removed the necessity of an Apple MFi chip, instead allowing accessory makers to add HomeKit support through software instead.

In comparison to years past, this year we have a huge list of new products, encompassing nearly every category of HomeKit's accessory types. This year was especially notable for newer categories like cameras, watering systems, and buttons. As a huge HomeKit fan, here are the upcoming accessories that we're most excited to add to our homes and offices this year.

Nanoleaf Remote

There is nothing quite like the Nanoleaf dodecahedron remote. Compared to any other "button" accessory for HomeKit that is limited to three options, Nanoleaf's is capable of twelve different commands.

Nanoleaf Aurora HomeKit remote


You simply give the remote a turn and it will trigger a different scene. Whichever number is face-side up is the scene that is set.
You do have a few more options if you use it exclusively with the Nanoleaf Aurora. Aside from setting a different lighting seen, you can also rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise to adjust the brightness of your light.

The only question that remains, is just how difficult it will be to remember each of those twelve scenes.

You will be able to pick one up later this fall.

First Alert OneLink Safe & Sound

The Safe & Sound is another entirely unique device. Not only does it operate as a HomeKit smoke and carbon monoxide detector, but it also works as a HomeKit capable AirPlay 2 speaker system.

First Alert Onelink Safe and Sound smoke and carbon monoxide detector


This is a brilliant idea. By integrating a powerful speaker into your smoke and CO sensor, it removes the need to place one on your counter, saving valuable space.

This would be a substantially easier way to get integrated speakers than feeding wires through the walls. If you use Amazon Alexa, you can speak directly to the Safe & Sound, just like an Echo speaker.

The inclusion of the forthcoming AirPlay 2 protocol means it supports true multi-room audio as well. Anywhere in your home, you can send audio to all of your speakers at once, even controlling the volume on an individual basis. AirPlay 2 will be released later this year for third party speakers, the Apple TV, and the HomePod.

We don't yet know the extent of AirPlay 2's HomeKit support, but we can only hope it will allow you to create scenes involving music. The Safe & Sound can be pre-ordered at Amazon for $249.99 with an expected release date of May 1.

The Button from Fibaro

So far a few HomeKit buttons have already made it to market. We've seen the Eve Button from Elgato, the Pop Switch from Logitech, and even a few Hue accessories. The Button from Fibaro is by and large my favorite to date. It has this great retro look, and comes in an assortment of different colors.

Fibaro The Button Apple HomeKit compatible


They can be mounted anywhere such as on the wall, under your desk, or on the counter. It is still limited to the three commands we've seen of other HomeKit buttons, but it is the one we most want to put on our desks.

It should be released in the first half of this year.

iDevices Instinct Switch

Countless HomeKit switches have been released, but the Instinct Switch from iDevices take it to a new level. Not only is this switch capable of controlling your lights physically or through HomeKit, but it acts as an access point for Amazon Alexa as well. That means it works as an Echo-like speaker for listening to music and querying Alexa.

iDevices Instinct Switch for HomeKit and Amazon Alexa


It won't support AirPlay 2, and the quality of the speaker remains a mystery, but we are exceedingly curious about this accessory.

Belkin WeMo Bridge

Belkin's WeMo system has proven to be overwhelmingly popular. Until now, HomeKit support has eluded WeMo, but that changed at CES 2018 when the company announced a new bridge that would finally bring WeMo within Apple's home automation ecosystem.




The WeMo Bridge is now shipping, and allows Belkin's switches, sensors, and outlets to interface with HomeKit. This is similar to when Philips released a second generation bridge to bring HomeKit support to Hue accessories without having to replace everything.

The WeMo bridge is available now for $39.99.

Abode Iota

The Iota from Abode Systems is an all-in-one security camera that supports many smart home platforms. The 1080p camera can act as a gateway, baking in Z-Wave, ZigBee, HomeKit, and Abode RF which can encompass hundreds of smart home devices.




The camera can show in the Home app, and if you view it in Abode's app, you can view the past three days worth of footage which is stored in the cloud. There are very few HomeKit cameras currently on the market, and this one seems to have all the features that one would want for a HomeKit device capable of inducing other actions.

Koogeek L3 Lock

Even though we have seen several HomeKit-equipped door locks, we have yet to see a functional one in a padlock form factor. Koogeek is aiming to be one of the first to fix that with their L3 Smart Fingerprint Lock.

Perfect for a bike, shed, gate, or locker, the L3 works not only with HomeKit over Bluetooth, but your fingerprint as well. Up to 50 different fingerprints can be added, and you can receive instant alerts when it is unlocked.

Koogeek L3 smart lock


The last 100 actions can be viewed for reference of when it was locked/unlocked. The lock is charged up over micro-USB, and after 2 hours of charging, can last up to a year with normal use.

More to come!

Fingers are crossed that iOS 12, which will probably be announced at WWDC in June, will bring even more HomeKit improvements. With any improvements, will come more hardware that works within the ecosystem as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 136member
    I don't know what the "exciting" part of any of these products, nothing revolutionary or that useful. It's a shame IoT is moving so slowly, between the high prices and the fear of planed obsolesce, I don't find any real benefit of having smart lights in a small apartment. Security cameras and Airplay2 make more sense,but the second is nowhere to be seen. I'd love if you guy did a comprehensive review on Ikea smart bulbs and Qi products to see if they are worth the money. Thanks!
    SpamSandwichwilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 32
    GG1GG1 Posts: 201member
    I continue to wait for a HomeKit-approved Z-wave bridge or even controller. The iota by Abode has Z-wave in-built, but I don't want an interior camera. Waiting on your, Vera or HomeSeer.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    If I buy a $25,000 car it usually comes with remote unlock and remote start and a few "smart features" like that. But if I buy a $250,000 home I'm not aware of any builders in my city which integrate similar smarts. I'm forced to build my own home solution after the fact. Nobody in that business wants to take my money. 

    I can see why Apple might want to build and sell cars - they are still so dumb. But why wouldn't Apple want to build homes which are dumber and more expensive (i.e., more opportunity for profit). At the very least Apple should be a component supplier for homes. Things like Face ID at doors with the Secure Enclave implementation, microphones and speakers throughout (with Siri access and multi user detection), DC power outlets or Qi wireless chargers for all our DC devices so we can stop using power bricks, plus smart alarms, sleep/health measuring technology, automatic blinds, windows and doors/locks, and more.

    I would call it the "Apple Future Home". But at the rate it's going now I won't live long enough to see new homes come with any smart features at time of purchase, in particular Apple's smart home devices which are currently non-existent.
    watto_cobratechno
  • Reply 4 of 32
    frankiefrankie Posts: 369member
    What is the best security camera home system as of now that works with macs/ios?  Preferably with multiple cameras and not costing a fortune.

    Thanks for any advice or info!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Andy_ZAndy_Z Posts: 2member
    Just a few minutes ago I received an early-bird preorder email from Ecobee for their HomeKit smart Switch+ with built-in Alexa. 
  • Reply 6 of 32
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 70member
    HomeKit padlock seems a bit weird to me. You usually have to be by the lock to use it. What advantage does it bring to remotely control a padlock?
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Apple needs to buy Insteon or build a z-wave bridge.  Since I bought a HomePod, I’ve expanded my HomeKit devices but found the underlying connectivity of WiFi or Bluetooth just too unreliable.  Putting a WiFi device inside a metal box (Leviton Decora Wall switches in an electrical box) isn’t the best way to ensure reliable connections.  Insteon has built a repeater technology that uses both over-the-air and through the wire signaling for just this purpose.  That is the type of backbone Apple needs to get more reliable operation in home automation. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to hear Siri say “Some of you devices are not responding” when asking Siri to turn off a light.  On a side note, the HomePod’s ability to correctly hear me though all kinds of background noise is simple amazing. This ability really shows off HomeKit’s advantages. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    larryalarrya Posts: 519member
    Only the vipers without this whiz-bang automation will be impervious to the next Cylon attack. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    There are many devices, especially AV devices, that have RS-232 and/or Ethernet control capability.

    If there were a HomeKit bridge that can communicate either or both of these ways, there would be a gazillion things one could do, in residential and even commercial environments. I did a quick google and was surprised that nothing popped up. I wonder if Crestron, AMX, RTI, etc are thinking about this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,632member
    gutengel said:
    I don't know what the "exciting" part of any of these products, nothing revolutionary or that useful. It's a shame IoT is moving so slowly, between the high prices and the fear of planed obsolesce, I don't find any real benefit of having smart lights in a small apartment. Security cameras and Airplay2 make more sense,but the second is nowhere to be seen. I'd love if you guy did a comprehensive review on Ikea smart bulbs and Qi products to see if they are worth the money. Thanks!
    So because you live in a small apartment, no one should be interested in home automation lighting solutions? Curious logic there, fella.  
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 32
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    Andy_Z said:
    Just a few minutes ago I received an early-bird preorder email from Ecobee for their HomeKit smart Switch+ with built-in Alexa. 
    That’s the best Thermostat on the market. My only complaint is that it’s not compatible with AC 5Ghz band.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    I didn’t intend to get the Wemo bridge but Amazon gave me $33 off the price ($39.99) last night, so I bought it to connect my Wemo switches to HomeKit. The switches currently use Alexa and they dropped out a lot. 
    edited March 12
  • Reply 13 of 32
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    frankie said:
    What is the best security camera home system as of now that works with macs/ios?  Preferably with multiple cameras and not costing a fortune.

    Thanks for any advice or info!
    Blink!
  • Reply 14 of 32
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 213member
    fallenjt said:
    frankie said:
    What is the best security camera home system as of now that works with macs/ios?  Preferably with multiple cameras and not costing a fortune.

    Thanks for any advice or info!
    Blink!
    Blink is great - but no HomeKit compatibility now...and likely never since they were bought by Amazon :-(  Also, they’ve been promising their video door bell for about 4 months now - that, too, might now be vaporware, since Amazon just bought a video doorbell maker, Ring :-(
  • Reply 15 of 32
    j2fusion said:
    Apple needs to buy Insteon or build a z-wave bridge.  Since I bought a HomePod, I’ve expanded my HomeKit devices but found the underlying connectivity of WiFi or Bluetooth just too unreliable.  Putting a WiFi device inside a metal box (Leviton Decora Wall switches in an electrical box) isn’t the best way to ensure reliable connections.  Insteon has built a repeater technology that uses both over-the-air and through the wire signaling for just this purpose.  That is the type of backbone Apple needs to get more reliable operation in home automation. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to hear Siri say “Some of you devices are not responding” when asking Siri to turn off a light.  On a side note, the HomePod’s ability to correctly hear me though all kinds of background noise is simple amazing. This ability really shows off HomeKit’s advantages. 
    I can’t tell you how disappointed I have been with the smart switches. Not only do the all suck no one makes a a three way option worth anything. IDevices is delayed and so is levitron with the feel being rather cheap and the reliability being subpar. 
    I am interested in Lutron who makes a hub control its radiora2 or select switches. It is a couple or orders of magnitude more costly but maybe they have made a useful switch. 
  • Reply 16 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    fallenjt said:
    Andy_Z said:
    Just a few minutes ago I received an early-bird preorder email from Ecobee for their HomeKit smart Switch+ with built-in Alexa. 
    That’s the best Thermostat on the market. My only complaint is that it’s not compatible with AC 5Ghz band.
    The problem with 5GHz is it isn't very good at going through walls.  Perhaps that's why they use 2.4 GHz which is far better suited for that purpose.  My tip is to make sure you name both of the frequencies the same in your router's admin so all devices in your LAN are on the same network and can auto select the best frequency at any given time.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 17 of 32
    If I buy a $25,000 car it usually comes with remote unlock and remote start and a few "smart features" like that. But if I buy a $250,000 home I'm not aware of any builders in my city which integrate similar smarts. I'm forced to build my own home solution after the fact. Nobody in that business wants to take my money. 

    I can see why Apple might want to build and sell cars - they are still so dumb. But why wouldn't Apple want to build homes which are dumber and more expensive (i.e., more opportunity for profit). At the very least Apple should be a component supplier for homes. Things like Face ID at doors with the Secure Enclave implementation, microphones and speakers throughout (with Siri access and multi user detection), DC power outlets or Qi wireless chargers for all our DC devices so we can stop using power bricks, plus smart alarms, sleep/health measuring technology, automatic blinds, windows and doors/locks, and more.

    I would call it the "Apple Future Home". But at the rate it's going now I won't live long enough to see new homes come with any smart features at time of purchase, in particular Apple's smart home devices which are currently non-existent.
    Surely you can design and project manage your own home if you were building a new one? Just tell your builder what the spec and what products you are wanting and they will work to the plans regardless? Is this not possible in the US? 
  • Reply 18 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,295member
    fallenjt said:
    I didn’t intend to get the Wemo bridge but Amazon gave me $33 off the price ($39.99) last night, so I bought it to connect my Wemo switches to HomeKit. The switches currently use Alexa and they dropped out a lot. 
    Why is a bridge needed @fallenjt ? Is it a limitation of HomeKit or a decision by Wemo? 
  • Reply 19 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 858member
    A nice look at some mildly interesting (not really “exciting” imo) HomeKit stuff. I must say the dodecahedron looks exceptionally stupid. As for the AirPlay 2 smoke detector ... well ... for people who don’t care about sound quality and music from the ceiling, I guess ... good to see AirPlay 2 starting to get some third-party support. I hope it will be out this month.

    There’s a typo in the third paragraph of the Nanoleaf section: “seen” instead of “scene.” Never rely on spellcheck. :)
  • Reply 20 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,295member
    frankie said:
    What is the best security camera home system as of now that works with macs/ios?  Preferably with multiple cameras and not costing a fortune.

    Thanks for any advice or info!
    Yi 1080P cameras at less than $50 each would be ideal IMHO, there's even a four pack of the 720P version for $100 at Amazon, as long as you can get past their privacy policy. I've been using two in the main entryways but NOT using their cloud service because of that aforementioned privacy policy. These are one of the few that have SD card slots for local recording and don't need a subscription. 32GB cards are very usable, plenty of storage, and still accessible for remote alerts and review via smartphone. 

    But with that said I have been moving to Nest cameras for more private areas in the home. (Ebay is my friend  B) )
    More reasonable subscription plans are available from them now too, far less expensive than just a few months ago.
    edited March 13
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