Although Apple is usually hush-hush on new product pushes, this time, with HomeKit, they’ve been talking about their position and plans, telling App developers that HomeKit is a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. You can enable users to discover HomeKit accessories in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.
So, basically, using an iPhone (or more likely an AppleTV enabled with Siri), you’ll be able to connect products together and control them with voice-commands. So, when you say, “Turn on Netflix,” it will turn on your TV, switch the TV to the AppleTV set-top box input and open the Netflix app automatically. And, by the way, according to one HomeKit developer, that command can include macros to close the shades, turn off lights and even adjust the audio volume to different pre-set levels depending on what time a day it is.
If this is true, will total home control be too far behind?
What’s interesting here, and will be interesting to watch, is that Apple’s products sometimes kill the obvious (e.g., the iPhone killed Blackberry and the flip phone), but they also tend to have a deadening affect on the less obvious — for example, who buys a map now? And, who would bother to buy a small digital camera? In 2007, when the iPhone was launched, no one thought the digital camera market would collapse less than four years later.
So, HomeKit will side-swipe what other markets? We know it’ll have a devastating effect on the home automation market all around — and, an immediate death-hook on the universal remote control market — but what else will it kill without us thinking about it?
That, to me, is something I’m watching for. Your thoughts?