Apple’s “Siri” is joining the ranks of high-tech home gadgets. This particular gadget is the first of its kind controlled by the voice-activated digital assistant. As reported, “Siri” for the home will go on sale starting this week, following an announcement from Google that it is in the process of building software specific for home appliances and other gadgets connected to the internet.
Both “Siri” and Google’s software are among emerging computer chip containing products that make homes smarter. Using unique programs, homeowners have the ability to communicate to various things wirelessly to include door locks, appliances, and thermostats, among others.
Although other companies are in the process of creating similar products, many analysts believe consumers will be most encouraged by Apple to actually try them. The reason is that people will use a familiar device like the iPhone to perform different services.
One year ago, the HomeKit by Apple was first announced but rather than create new products, other companies are trying to make devices that meet strict Apple criteria for both compatibility and security. Currently, new products are being sold by two manufacturers while three more are now taking preorders online or planning to sell within the next few weeks.
Products that are HomeKit certified hit the market today, which includes wireless hubs from Lutron Electronics and Insteon. These hubs are managed using a smartphone application and are no larger than a standard television cable box and serve as the primary controller for different gadgets to include lights.
A starter kit is being sold by Lutron Electronics for a little more than $200, which comes with the Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge hub, as well as two dimmer units that can be used as a plug-in unit or wall switch for controlling lights. According to a company spokesperson, the hub is compatible with lights but also thermostats and power switches.
Additional companies will soon begin to sell HomeKit climate sensors, thermostats, and power plugs. Currently, products of a similar nature are already being sold by Lutron Electronics and other companies that have smartphone applications used for control.
By tying in Apple, a homeowner can control the same applications with “Siri”. In order to control things from outside the home, an individual must link into the Apple TV box. As stated by Apple, any product that uses the HomeKit software is required to meet high standards of compatibility and encryption that prevents hackers from stealing a user’s information or taking control of the system.