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Siri, dim the lights and warm us up: First gizmos for Apple HomeKit love-in emerge

Justin Clements

It's not about controlling things from the couch, it's about the house becoming more automated, and cross function.

We already have a test system running at home using the Lowes system, if an alarm sensor on a door or window shows that it's open and the air con comes on, we get a text telling us that a window or door is open. It used the alarm system sensors to tell us about the heating cooling system. Which isn't techie fun, but actually real world useful.

If a door opens, a light can come on (set hours). If a temperature in a room is too high, it can close a blind, before it turns on the AC system. I will be playing with motorized vents in few months which should give me a cheap way of doing heating and cooling zones, without a very expensive AC system upgrade. The ceiling fan modules have just come available as well.

The lock systems are just superb, if you don't have a key use a keypad (if enabled), open door remotely if you lock yourself out, set pins for other people to come in out and on a schedule, and so forth.

The real key to the apple system is whether it will talk zigbee and zwave, which is what everyone is producing right now. If they go with anything proprietary it will die. They need to remember that you buy these things from lowes and homedepot, not from the apple website.

And companies like lowes are really pushing their solution as the hub was on sale for the first quarter of this year (if you could find it), for $5. The hub is really very good, built in battery so you can move it new devices when needed(initializing a device is often on a different short range channel), gig of space so the video recording will work, and so forth.

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