CES 2019 – HomeKit News Updates

So….We’ve only just had CES 2019 launch and already HomeKit fans have been bowled over by the sheer amount of devices, updates and new functionality that has been announced. Given that Apple have deemed it wise to make their own appearance via an invite-only press conference for a selection of news outlets to announce all the HomeKit/Airplay news on behalf of many additional manufacturers and partners, it would seem the tide has turned somewhat for HomeKit – not that it was ever in any real danger of vanishing any time soon, but considering all the products that work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, as a user of Homekit products, one was feeling a bit left behind. Still, this is 2019, and there’s already plenty to talk about, so let’s have a look at all the announcements so far.

Honeywell T-Series Smart Thermostats and Sensors

  • All new Thermostat designs to work on a room-by-room basis
  • Advanced smart sensors with people detection (200ft range)
  • control the temperature in any room at any time
  • HomeKit compatibility coming later in 2019

Lutron Ceiling Fan

  • Designed to add smart control to your existing standard fan
  • Works with Lutron’s Caseta hub – no mention of connection to HomeKit at present
  • Works with a single 1.5A ceiling fan
  • Neutral wire required, unlike their Caseta line of Smart light switches

Airplay 2 and HomeKit coming to Smart TVs

  • Vizio, Samsung and LG have all announced that their 2019 line of smart TV will be Airplay 2 compatible
  • Sony’s upcoming 4k and 8k TVs will also be supported
  • Share content from you iPhone, iPad or Mac computer direct to your TV without the need for a dedicated Apple TV
  • Suitable TVs will appear in the Apple Home app to allow for further control of basic TV functions and also permit you to add TV control to HomeKit scenes and automations

First Alert announce update to their Safe & Sound Smoke Alarm/Speaker

  • Will be HomeKit compatible, as per the first version, as well as Google Assistant or with Amazon Alexa built in
  • Built-in Airplay 2 speaker for multi-room audio
  • The 2019 model will feature WiFi mesh technology to allow for expanded connectivity

TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs to gain HomeKit compatibility

  • Already compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and even Microsoft Cortana
  • HomeKit integration will come via a (we presume) Firmware update for Software Authentication

HomeKit coming to Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra Cameras

  • Arlo Ultra combines a 4K Wire free security camera and HomeKit compatible hub
  • black and white, or colour night vision, thanks to an integrated Infrared Spotlight
  • Arlo hub will also work with Z-wave and Zigbee devices – presumably acting as a hub for these devices too
  • Both the Arlo Pro and Ultra will gain HomeKit support by an OT update later this year

Brilliant Home Control to gain HomeKit support

  • First released in late 2018, the Smart Home control switch will add HomeKit compatibility this Spring
  • already compatible with the usual platforms – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant,  but also Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, Ring, August, Philips Hue, Sonos, and Wemo.
  • capable of music playback (no mention of Airplay 2 yet), stream video (currently via Ring Doorbell cams for example), and of course control lights
  • OTA firmware update for current models expected in Q2 2019

HomeKit support update for ‘U by Moen’ Smart Shower

  • Already compatible with Alexa, with HomeKit and Google support due this Spring
  • allows voice control of the shower – start, stop, pause and even preset ‘scenes’ for different preferences, including temperature

Eve announce details of their forthcoming light strip and power strip

  • Eve light strip will be available in a 6.6ft length, with extensions available to bring the total max. length to 32.8ft
  • 1800lm brightness – higher than any other current light strips, including the Hue Strip
  • Eve’s first of two Wifi connected devices, with the other being the Power Strip
  • strip priced at $79.95, with extensions for $49.95
  • Three power outlets in one strip
  • control of each outlet with individual physical buttons
  • uses wi-fi for connectivity
  • Power strip priced at $119

Other CES HomeKit related articles previously posted

 

Simon T Bramley

Editor - Musician, graphic designer and HomeKit aficionado, living in Taipei, Taiwan.

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