The first home automation products using Apple’s new Siri-controlled HomeKit platform will arrive next week, according to sources briefed on Apple’s plans.
The company first introduced HomeKit last year alongside iOS 8, introducing a framework for developers to build home automation accessories that could integrate with one another and be controlled using Siri. After Apple officially began to accept HomeKit product plans last November, a number of companies began showing off HomeKit products at CES 2015 in January.
Many of the companies previewing HomeKit products in recent months are likely to be among the roughly five companies sources say will make announcements early next week.
We’ll also see more of what’s in store for HomeKit at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, which starts only days after the announcements on June 8. The timing of HomeKit announcements so close to WWDC suggests that Apple did not have adequate keynote time to accommodate third-party demos of the accessories, but wanted to let them receive attention anyway. Earlier this month, we reported that Apple is planning a new ‘Home’ app for iOS 9 that uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories, which will give a user interface to the platform other than Siri. As we’ve previously noted, the Apple TV will also play a role in controlling HomeKit accessories.
HomeKit’s official launch early next month comes just as Google introduced its competing platform, which was dubbed Project Brillo during yesterday’s Google I/O developer conference.