Best new apps for Apple HomeKit at #CES2015

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This week’s Smart Living features home automation solutions unveiled at CES 2015 that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit..

iDevice’s Switch


Switch is a HomeKit-enabled smartplug from iDevices LLC that allows users to remotely control appliances plugged into it, even if they are not at home using the iDevices Connected app.

Because of the HomeKit integration, users can take advantage of iOS features in the system, such as using Siri to control their connected devices. Users can also use the iDevicse Connected app to set schedules, customize events and upload photos of different connected appliances so it is easier to identify them and control them. Switch will launch in the first half of 2015 and is priced at $49.99.

iHome’s SmartPlug


At CES, iHome unveiled a bunch of new products that updates its existing line of devices, from new color-shifting speakers, wearable speakers and more. Another notable product is the SmartPlug, which works similarly to iDevice’s Switch.

SmartPlug will be offered in three variants: iSP5, which is a pass-through for devices with three-prong wall plugs; iSP6, which adds a USB connector; and iSP7, which includes a remote control. Users can use the iHome Control app to control the SmartPlug, and just like Switch, they can use Siri to give voice commands to their connected appliances. SmartPlug is slated for a spring 2015 release and is priced at $40.

Schlage Sense


Lock manufacturer Schlage introduced the Schlage Sense, a Bluetooth-connected smart lock that gives homeowners the freedom to choose how they want to unlock their doors. It features a touchscreen keypad and a traditional keyhole.

The Bluetooth connection allows homeowners to use their phones as a key using the Schlage Sense app. Because of its HomeKit integration, users can also utilize Siri to lock or unlock their doors even if they are out. Schlage Sense will be released later this year; no pricing just yet.

Chamberlain’s smart garage door opener


The Chamberlain Group, Inc. brought the new Chamberlain Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener with MyQ Smartphone Control and Chamberlain Notifi at CES 2015. The Chamberlain Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener with MyQ smartphone control is a fully integrated, smartphone-connected Wi-Fi garage door opener that allows homeowners to remotely open or close their garage doors and check if their garage door was left open.

The integration of MyQ and Apple’s HomeKit allows customers to control their MyQ garage doors from anywhere using their iPhones, iPads or iPod touches without having to worry about their security being compromised. This will be available in spring. As for Notifi, it is the first smartphone-connected video door chime to combine lights, video, notification and communication. It will be available later this year.

Incipio’s first shot at the smart home market


Incipio Technologies, Inc. is known for its protective cases for iPhones and iPads, which makes its entrance in the home automation market a surprising move. At CES 2015, Incipio introduced three products that are HomeKit-enabled. The Incipio DIRECT Wireless Smart Outlet is a smartplug that allows users to remotely control plugged in appliances. Light Bulb Adapter allows you to turn existing light bulbs into smart ones. And the Power Strip features one integrated Smart Outlet and three additional outlets.

The Incipio DIRECT Wireless Smart App allows users to create customized actions sets and scenes, use Siri to control the connected devices and allows users to power up or power down specific devices just by entering or exiting a room. The Smart Outlet and Light Bulb Adapter costs $25 each, while the Power Strip is priced at $60 and will be available in  second quarter 2015.

Insteon’s new HomeKit hub and app


Insteon used CES 2015 as the stage for its new HomeKit hub and app that allows it to cater to more users who are interested in automating their homes. The HomeKit-specific hub will retail for $150 and allows consumers to group connected devices and give voice commands that will let Siri simultaneously control them. As for the app, it supports a variety of HomeKit-enabled devices from various manufacturers.

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