While most of the news about Apple over the past few months has centered on their new wearable, Apple Watch, many in the smart home space have been working frantically to prepare for the launch of another Apple project called HomeKit.
HomeKit is Apple’s attempt to bring sanity to the smart home space (and also sell a lot of iOS devices while they’re at it), but unlike Apple Watch the effort involves a whole bunch of hardware partners. In fact, it’s probably the first major Apple strategic initiative that is as much about other companies hardware as its own, which is what makes HomeKit both so compelling for the industry and challenging for Apple itself.
Compelling because many believe Apple’s entry into the smart home will bring both consumer attention and possibly more coherence to what’s been a fairly fractured market to this point. In my view this may be the biggest impact of HomeKit, alongside putting a core smart home control app on iOS devices.
HomeKit Enabled Device Shipment Forecast: 2015-2020 (Units In 000′s)
Complex for Apple because in HomeKit they have to create a set of software, cloud and hardware security elements that work with anything from fairly powerful smart home hubs to devices with tiny processors and even tinier memory like door locks. This is, in my estimation, probably a little more difficult than Apple anticipated, which is why the launch list of HomeKit devices is still fairly modest.
By the end of this year, however, I expect Apple and its hardware partners to have the kinks ironed out, which will mean hundreds of different HomeKit device models from tens of manufacturers on store shelves by Christmas. Long term, we expect HomeKit to become one of the most important platforms for companies building connected devices for the home, to the tune of 180 million HomeKit enabled devices shipping annually by 2020.
Some of the biggest categories for the HomeKit? Lighting, security and the smart kitchen.
This article was written by Michael Wolf from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.