What’s in store for the future of HomeKit? Right now, the clunkiest bit is if you walk into a room and want the lights to come on, you either have to activate Siri on your watch or phone, or you have to get to the physical switch and turn them on. This could be better. The lights could just come on. For this reason, I think iBeacons are about to finally become commonplace. They’ll detect the proximity of a watch, or Mac, or iOS device, and activate a particular light, or scene. This is better than motion sensors because iBeacons have a sense of your identity. As a simple example, it could turn a room’s lights blue for me, but purple for my sister.
About 10 years ago there was this concept of “data emitters”. Things you put around you in the room that expose information. At the time, they connected via USB. Now they can be connected via Wi-Fi, and/or your electrical grid. For example, if your stocks are up, your house lighting could turn green. If a smoke detector is going off, or motion was detected at night, or you left the door unlocked, or the oven on, all the lights could flash red.
One thing to consider when purchasing HomeKit lighting, the main thing you need to consider is whether you want colour changing lights or not. If you don’t, I can highly recommend the Lutron Caséta line of in-wall dimmers and remotes. They’re the ones that have worked flawlessly for me. The best thing about them is that you wire them into the house. This means that someone can’t turn off the switch, and make it so that your lights are no longer controllable via HomeKit. That can be very frustrating.
Up until recently, that’s exactly how Philips Hue lights worked. Thanks to a new wall dimmer from Philips, you can now get around this in 2 easy steps: 1) Remove your existing wall switch, hard-wire the connection to on, and cover it with a faceplate. 2) Stick the new wireless wall dimmer to the faceplate. Now nobody can turn off the light except via HomeKit or that wireless switch, which just triggers the appropriate HomeKit action.
P.S. - Looks like I was right about how Apple would do Siri APIs :)