wwdc 2016 Home app

Apple is reportedly teaming up with homebuilders to inch its way into the market for Internet-connected home furnishings in an effort to “bring home automation to the mainstream,” according to Greg Joswiak, who is Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing. Bloomberg quoted Joswiak as saying that “the best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.”

The Cupertino firm is ostensibly partnering with various building companies to integrate support for HomeKit platform directly into houses.

One example mentioned in the article includes a HomeKit-enabled four-bedroom stucco house in Alameda, California which integrates some $30,000 worth of HomeKit devices, such as multiple Lutron’s $349 automated shading system devices, Schlage’s $199 Connect Touchscreen Deadbolts and other home automation hardware.

By integrating HomeKit into homes, building companies hope to attract more buyers who may not necessarily want to go through the complex ordeal of setting up things like smart blinds and locks.

“The gamble is that pricey wireless home devices will be an easier sell when bundled into the home itself,” explains Bloomberg. “Builders market granite countertops and brushed-nickel fixtures at thousands of models homes across the U.S. Why not video doorbells?”

Consumers will buy about $24 billion worth of connected home devices in 2016, according to Strategy Analytics, with sales estimated to nearly double by 2020.

I haven’t used any HomeKit devices yet because I find the current crop of HomeKit-compatible appliances a bit on the pricey side. That said, I’ll be making sure to outfit my home with smart bulbs, door locks and other smart devices in the future.

Have you used HomeKit and if so, what was your experience with it?

Source: Bloomberg