Apple is working with homebuilders to make smart houses from scratch – Business Insider


HomeKitApple

Apple is teaming up with homebuilders to integrate its technology
into new houses to boost its Home app that works with smart
home goods like internet-connected doorbells, deadbolts, and
window blinds. 

Apple is working with companies like Lennar Corp, KB Home, and
Brookfield Residential Properties to build and test these “Apple
houses,” according to a
report from Bloomberg
, although there’s no timeline for these
houses to go on sale to the public.

The idea is that it’s much easier to build a new smart home from
scratch rather than retrofitting an existing home. 

To be clear, these houses are not being built by Apple. They’re
being built by professional homebuilders, which all have
different approaches to the smart home. But Apple is helping the
companies understand the HomeKit platform, the various vendors
who are making HomeKit products, and its security features. 

Model houses already built have as much as $30,000 of
Apple-compatible gadgets in them. Apple doesn’t actually make the
smart home goods, for example, a “smart
deadbolt
” is made by Schlage.

Where Apple comes in is that it’s providing software to
integrate various home automation products together.

One example of why people might want an Apple house: they can
tell Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, to say, turn on the
lights, or get the coffee maker started, or unlock the door even
when they’re miles away. 


Apple home app
Apple’s Home app.
Apple

Customers who live in houses fitted out with HomeKit, Apple’s
smart home platform, will be less likely to switch from Apple’s
ecosystem. After all, if an Android phone doesn’t work with
your doorbell, you might just decide to stick with an iPhone.

For home builders, they’re hoping that Apple’s coolness can help
them sell properties in new subdivisions in a housing market

that’s stuck in neutral
. 


Apple currently sells
a variety of HomeKit products on its
website. HomeKit is part of Apple’s MFi licensing
program, which certifies products like charging cables as well.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing,

told Bloomberg
that Apple wants “to bring home automation to
the mainstream.”

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