HomeKit offers two big advantages over generic smart home devices. First, it enables Siri control; second, Apple’s security requirements add a great deal of reassurance at a time when smart homes are beginning to make an attractive target for hackers.
But HomeKit-compatible devices do tend toward the more expensive end of the price range, a problem Lenovo has set out to tackle with its upcoming Smart Home Essentials line …
Three of the more affordable devices so far announced will be HomeKit compatible:
- A bulb with adjustable color temperature for $30
- A smart plug, also at $30
- A full HD security camera, at $100
The pricing isn’t unprecedented – there are other companies, like Ikea, offering products at this sort of price level. But Lenovo’s products don’t need a bridge, which makes it cheaper to get started, and also more convenient than the rats-nest of boxes you end up with attached to your router with most product ranges.
You need Lenovo’s Link app for the initial setup, but after that you can use Apple’s Home app or Siri to control the devices.
The bulb is 60w equivalent and offers both brightness control and a choice of color temperature ranging from 2700K to 6500K. The smart plug supports up to 15A devices, which covers most of the things you might want to plug into it, and it has a compact design that should ensure it doesn’t block neighbouring sockets. Both products are due to go on sale in November.
Finally, the security camera offers 1080p recording at 30fps, 2-way audio, a 355-degree field of view, motion-detection, night vision and supports both local and cloud storage. Lenovo tells us this will launch a little later, in Q1 of next year.