The future of HomeKit devices in 2019
Whilst Apple didn’t officially attend CES 2019,we did see plenty of new HomeKit smart home products that are coming in 2019 from Smart TV, lighting, doorbells, locks, thermostats and smart blinds.
Apple’s HomeKit platform has been moving at a slower pace to others like Google and Amazon’s offerings. However new HomeKit-compatible devices are headed our way.
HomeKit in 2019
The HomeKit platform which was introduced in 2014, which is Apple’s answer to smart home automation platform. It links devices from third-party manufacturers into Apple’s software ecosystem, allowing iOS and recently Mac users to control everything from lights and thermostats to smart locks and security cams.
The original requirement was that HomeKit smart devices contain a special chip to handle the authentication and this was a barrier due to the cost.
Luckily, Apple rolled out software authentication for HomeKit devices last year in iOS 11.3, but adoption has still taken time and this I suspect is down product development roadmaps needing to be adapted as HomeKit would have not featured high on the list.
Despite Apple not formally attending CES, we did see manufacturers showcase a slew of new HomeKit products coming in 2019.
New HomeKit smart lighting in 2019
Smart lights are normally a users first step into a smart home with the Philips Hue leading the way at the moment with its smart light platform. Whilst we didn’t see any big announcements at CES for smart light, 2019 still looks positive with some new offerings.
Belkin Wemo Light Switches
Belkin’s new Wemo Light Switches enable users to control lights using Siri or the Home app. They will come in a single-pole switch or a triple-pole.
The Nanoleaf Canvas will come in a hexagon shape, these promise to be a fun way to light up your home and come in at the same price as the Nanoleaf Rythme at £179.99
Philips Hue Outdoor range
Philips Hue is certainly the leader in smart home lighting and they have now expanded the outdoor range with a raft of new products from wall lights to lights that can be used to light the way on a path along with an outdoor motion sensor.
HomeKit video doorbells finally here in 2019
Smart video doorbells like Ring and Nest has been the only real options in this category, but HomeKit support has been missing, with Apple even taking the step of removing the doorbell category last year.
But this is about to change with a number of recent smart doorbells that support HomeKit and this has even promoted Ring to announced “again” that HomeKit is coming to its Ring Pro.
Robin Telecom Development ProLine Doorbell
The HomeKit doorbell comes from The Netherlands-based company Robin Telecom Development.
ProLine Doorbell will use microphones and cameras to let you see whoever is at your front door and engage them in conversation.
The ProLine Doorbell, with a sleek industrial design, is a little on the pricey side at 660 with shipping sometime in Q1 of 2019
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
Netatmo’s Smart video doorbell that was announced at CES, boasts a speaker, a 1080p HDR camera and a call button.
Pressing the call button sends a notification to the owner’s iPhone, alongside a video call invite, enabling a live feed of whoever is standing at your front door either through HomeKit or the Netatmo app.
The Netatamo doorbell also allows you to have 2-way communication with the person at the door, which will be handy for deliveries or advising a visitor to come to enter your home.
Netatmo has yet to reveal the video doorbell’s price or launch date.
New HomeKit smart locks
August has been one of the leaders in the HomeKit enabled Smart lock category, but things are going to be stepped up with the introduction of a couple of notable new products.
Mighton Avia HomeKit lock for multipoint locking doors
Mighton’s Avia smart lock will be the first multipoint smart lock that supports homeKit. It can be retrofitted to any multipoint locking doors with ease.
You can unlock the Smart lock with an app, Siri voice or some optional accessories like a Bluetooth keyfob, keypad or even a traditional key.
The big advantage of this particular smart lock is that it will appeal to the UK and Europe market as multi-point lock mechanism is very common with them also being slowly adopted in the US and China.
Pricing is not announced yet, but Mighton is targeting a May 2019 launch.
Kwikset’s updated Premis smart door lock boasts a redesign and can be unlocked using the Home app on iOS and with Siri voice commands.
No pricing has been announced, but the previous generation Premis cost $229, so expect a similar price.
New HomeKit smart TVs (with AirPlay 2)
Apple’s HomeKit will come to the biggest TV makers in the business. Samsung, Vizio and LG all pledged HomeKit support in upcoming TVs (along with AirPlay 2, Apple’s Wi-Fi streaming protocol).
Whilst the above TV manufacturers have promised HomeKit support, LG is not currently confirming backwards compatibility with older models, but this could change in the future.
HomeKit thermostats in 2019
HomeKit thermostats are nothing new and in 2019 and like smart lighting this is normally one of the first purchase in a smart home.
Honeywell Home T9 and T10 Pro
The latest T-series thermostats feature wireless sensors that measure temperature and humidity on a room-by-room basis. The thermostats will be compatible with HomeKit later this year.
The T9 with one sensor will be available at major U.S. retailers nationwide and at HoneywellHome.com for a suggested price of $199.99. The T10 Pro will be available via professional heating and cooling contractors.
Tado Smart Thermostat
Tado’s smart heating system includes not only a central thermostat but also internet connected radiator valves that ensure that every room in your house is evenly heated.
The latest update to V3 has seen some new features, but some users have complained that you now have to pay a subscription for the automation options.
Pricing for the Tado smart Thermostat starts at 119.99 for the radiator valves and 179.99 for the Smart thermostat starter kit.
HomeKit smart blinds in 2019
HomeKit blinds have been a category that the only real choice being Lutron which are expensive. However, that is set to change with IKEA expanding there smart home with a low-cost Smart Blind with HomeKit support.
Ikea Fyrtur and Kadrilj smart blinds with HomeKit
The Fyrtur is a regular blind, while the Kadrilj is designed to still let light in, but block reflections on screens. They range in price from the 99 euros to 159 euros and will be available across the UK and Europe from February 2019 and the US in April.
HomeKit Smart Plugs in 2019
HomeKit-compatible smart plugs let you automatically control the power from the socket to a dumb appliance such as a light or kettle.. Some even let you monitor your power consumption and serve up actionable data that can help you lower your electrical bills, but don’t expect to get any return on investment through.
ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2
new ConnectSense in-wall outlet will keep tabs on your power consumption with real-time voltage data from it’s two separately operated outlets.
Pricing is $59.99 and is a US only product at this stage
TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini
TP-Link is adding HomeKit support to its Kasa Smart Plug Mini. Giving users the ability to control electrical outlets using their mobile device, or virtual assistant.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart plug starts at $25/£20, so its a steal when HomeKit support comes later in 2019.
Lightwave Generation 2
Lightwave has been around since 2008 making smart home products and the Lightwave generation 2 product line is the latest from the company offering light switches and power sockets with new features and support for Apple HomeKit.
Pricing for the starter pack comes in at £185 for the socket kit and is a UK only product at this stage.
Excited for HomeKit in 2019?
2019 is certainly going to be an exciting year for HomeKit and it may mean they will make some ground on the other smart home platforms like Amazon and Google.
I do personally think it will take until 2020 to see HomeKit make any significant gains, but what is clear and this is evident by the amount of traffic to the “How to set up Homebridge” post, that users are wanting more HomeKit devices.