United States: The Apple Home arrives next week but it won’t change the smart home market as we know it


    At its September event, Apple announced a new iPhone 7, equipped with faster processing, a better camera, and added features.

    Additionally, the tech giant announced that iOS 10, the next version of its iPhone operating system, will be available for download on September 13. This means Apple Home will become a native app available on compatible iPhones with iOS 10 on September 13.


    The Home app, which manages compatible devices, is the final and central part of the Apple smart home ecosystem. The app is built off the Apple HomeKit developer framework, which was released in 2014, and it aims to conquer technological fragmentation within the smart home ecosystem.

    When testing the new system, BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, found that many of the devices were simple plug-and-play devices. Users merely have to use their iPhone to scan a product code into the Home app, and the device is instantly connected and managed through the app on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

    When out of the house, users send commands using the app, which are translated through the Apple smart home hub. In this case, the Apple Home hub can either be an Apple TV or an iPad. The devices must be compatible with HomeKit. Currently, the selection of HomeKit-compatible devices is limited, but Apple announced that more than 100 devices will be compatible by the end of the year.

    Apple also opened up Siri to outside developers, enabling voice activation and control of smart home devices that work on the Apple Home ecosystem. Apple is following the success of Amazon’s Alexa in integrating voice as a platform for controlling smart home technologies. Users are able to control individual devices using Siri, but also can set “scenes” that program individual devices to adjust to different settings at different times of the day. For example, a user could say, “Siri, I’m home,” prompting all of the lights in users’ home to turn on.

    However, BI Intelligence projects that the Apple Home will not change the overall trajectory of smart home adoption. Currently, smart home solutions are held back by long device replacement cycles, high prices, limited perceived value by consumers, and technological fragmentation.

    Since the Apple Home must run on Apple products, and the company has high requirements for device makers looking to make their devices HomeKit compatible, BI Intelligence expects that the Apple Home will not alter the smart home market significantly.

    At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple finalized its smart home ecosystem by announcing the upcoming release of the Home app in iOS 10.

    The app is built off HomeKit, which is Apple’s smarthome developer framework and interoperability protocol released in 2014. The app helps Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users control HomeKit compatible smart home devices from a single app, rather than multiple apps.

    While the app helps Apple users better manage smart home devices, BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, believes it will do little to spur the overall stagnant smart home market. The smart home market continues to be plagued by high device prices, limited value, and hard-to-install devices. Apple Home attempts to fix the fact that many of the devices are difficult to install, but the system has many limitations.

    Nicholas Shields, research associate for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on the Apple Home that analyzes the finally complete Apple Home ecosystem. It looks at the Apple Home app, as well as HomeKit, and discusses its potential effect on the overall do-it-yourself smart home market.

    Source: Business Insider


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