Apple confirms that the first HomeKit-enabled smart-home devices will debut in June, refuting recent rumors of a delay in the home automation software platform. A recent report from Fortune citing sources which are part of the project previously claimed that Apple postponed the release date of the platform.
Apple HomeKit coming next month?
A Fortune report suggested that the previously announced time period of May to June was pushed forward to August or September. The report claims that HomeKit is still undergoing a few processes and is not ready for an official launch.
However, Apple, in a statement given to The Wall Street Journal, refuted the rumors of postponing the release date, stating that HomeKit accessories will be launched next month. This implies that probably at the upcoming Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Apple could launch HomeKit.
“HomeKit [hardware certification] has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month,” Apple said.
Prior to this, Apple never announced a launch date for HomeKit, but during last year’s CES, many partners said to expect the feature sometime in the spring. One of the partners even told Re/code that the product may be in time for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Partners eagerly waiting for the product
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company announced its ambitious product at last year’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). HomeKit is designed to integrate home automation devices with a single set of protocols to enable them to be controlled through the Apple ecosystem.
With HomeKit, Apple is hoping to take the concept of interconnected homes a step ahead using the Apple TV as an automation hub and bringing in Siri for simple voice commands to control the hardware. HomeKit will enable users to give commands to Siri for performing functions such as “Close the garage,” “Turn off the lights,” or “Lower the temperature.” Manufacturers will have the option to make a range of devices that will be compatible with HomeKit. In October, Apple laid out the full design and specifications of HomeKit and has since teamed up with various partners, including Philips and Honeywell, among others.
Following the announcement of HomeKit, manufacturers started designing products that are compatible with Apple’s architecture, and some of these were showcased at CES. One of the manufacturers, iDevices, launched a HomeKit compatible smart-plug, whereas Schlage showed its Schlage Sense smart lock designed to work with HomeKit.