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First Apple Smart Home Products Launch Ahead of Worldwide Developer Conference

Devices using Apple's HomeKit home automation software have been slow to reach consumers.


The first products to take advantage of Apple’s smart home technology were unveiled today, just days before the start of the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

Five device makers announced products that dim the lights or adjust room temperature with a spoken command or control fans and other home appliances from the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Two products are available now, with others reaching stores in the coming weeks.

Apple announced its entry into home automation a year ago with the introduction of its HomeKit software. At the time, the Cupertino technology company announced several partners, including Philips, Honeywell, August and Schlage. But this new generation of connected gadgets has been slow to reach consumers.

IHome, a maker of iPhone- and iPod-compatible clock radios and audio accessories, said its first HomeKit product would begin reaching stores in late June. Its SmartPlug allows consumers to use Siri to control their lighting, fans and other home devices.

Lutron Electronics’ Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit provides wireless plugs, remote control dimmer switches and a smart bridge, which allows homeowners to adjust their lights (and, in some cases, the window shades and thermostats) without leaving their couches. Its software will even send a notification if the homeowner has left without turning off the lights. It is available now.

Toronto-based Ecobee announced that its wireless thermostat now works with HomeKit, allowing users to adjust their heating or cooling using Siri on their iPhone or iPad, while Insteon’s HomeKit-compatible hub lets consumers control a range of home gadgets, from door locks and garage door openers to lightbulbs. HomeKit is on sale today online.

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