Apple unveiled interactive demos of its HomeKit smart home ecosystem in 46 of its stores around the world, including in the US, Taiwan, and Germany
Apple unveiled interactive demos of its HomeKit smart home ecosystem in 46 of its stores around the world, including in the US, Taiwan, and Germany, according to TechCrunch.
Customers can use the native Home app from Apple Watch, iPhone, or iPad demo devices to control a virtual home displayed on a TV in the store. And while the demo only includes the HomeKit devices right now, it's likely once the HomePod speaker becomes commercially available this December, it could be included too.
The demos could persuade a new audience to adopt HomeKit compatible smart home devices and the forthcoming HomePod speaker.
And that's critical because it could help make HomeKit more appealing than competing smart home ecosystems. Right now, Amazon, Google, and Apple are locked in a war to get their voice assistants and compatible devices in as many homes as possible. But Apple's competitors don't have the in-store visibility that these demos will give the HomeKit ecosystem. That could lead future smart home adopters to choose HomeKit over ecosystems from Amazon, Google, and other future entrants to the space. Further, since Apple was later to release a smart speaker than Amazon or Google, these demos could help persuade consumers to opt in to the Apple ecosystem so it can eat into Amazon and Google's market shares.
The US smart home market has still yet to meet the expectations many observers had in the early part of this decade.
The same issues BI Intelligence first identified back in 2015 still plague the space — persistently high prices, technological fragmentation, and consumers' lack of a perceived benefit from the devices.
But the newfound popularity of smart home voice control has revolutionized smart home ecosystems across the country, and convinces more consumers to equip their homes with smart devices on a daily basis. The Amazon Echo, released in 2014, has become immensely popular and capable, awakening users to the utility of both voice control and smart home devices. This has prompted companies to rush to release competing devices and integrate voice control into their smart home ecosystems.
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