At the recent WWDC 2014 conference, Apple announced its first move into the smart home with HomeKit, an iOS software framework that controls smart-home devices. It was a small but important first step, as HomeKit will likely become a checklist item for manufacturers of connected devices looking to tap into Apple’s large and loyal user base.
Key implications of the announcement include:
- Most connected-device makers without an allegiance to a proprietary smart-home system or one of Apple’s competitors (i.e., Google or Nest) will incorporate the HomeKit API and protocol into their existing solutions.
- In the short term, Apple’s entry could have a beneficial impact on carriers as overall consumer awareness increases. In the longer term the impact of HomeKit on service providers could be mixed. If HomeKit and a broader Apple smart-home effort ultimately enable a more simple way to manage the smart-home experience, service providers could see less of a demand for managed home networks.
- DIY smart-home companies like SmartThings, Revolv, Belkin, and Staples could see a mixed impact. The end result will likely lead to increased competition from low-cost clone smart-home system providers.
Feature image courtesy Flickr user Mike Fisher