New York – Three companies that announced plans a year ago to market Apple HomeKit-certified home-automation products have now revealed pricing and availability plans.
The three are iDevices, Schlage and Chamberlain.
Their products will join currently shipping or soon-to-be shipping products from Ecobee, Elgato, iHome, Insteon and Lutron.
iDevices plans Oct. 1 availability of its $49-suggested Switch Wi-Fi smart plug through Lowe’s brick-and-mortar and online stores, said iDevices marketing director Lianne Kersey. The company is also talking to other retailers, including Amazon and The Home Depot, for additional distribution.
Two more HomeKit products from iDevices will arrive in the fourth quarter, with one more shipping in the first quarter of 2016, Kersey said. One new device will be a smart plug, and the other two will be in a different category, she said.
The first smart plug, which features a single 15-amp outlet, will be controlled initially from iDevice’s iOS app, which enables Siri voice control and also controls iDevice’s Bluetooth Smart-equipped kitchen and outdoor-grill thermometers. The app will also control other HomeKit-certified devices from other brands. An Android version of the app, which won’t feature Siri, will be available next year, possibly in the first quarter.
Although the plug uses Wi-Fi to take commands from an iPhone, it uses Bluetooth to get programmed from an iPhone.
For its part, Schlage plans fall availability of its Bluetooth-equipped Schlage Sense door lock in two styles, each in two colors, at around $239 each, said Schlage brand director Ann Matheis. Amazon presales will start in September and ship soon after, she said. The the Bluetooth lock will also be available in Home Depot, Lowes, and Build.com. The lock will be available to builders in January 2016.
The door lock can be locked and unlocked from up to 50 feet away when user’s press the lock/unlock button on the Schlage app. The lock also features a traditional key slot as well as a numeric touchpad to gain entry. The door does not unlock automatically when a phone is in range, Matheis explained, because proximity doesn’t always signal a user’s intent to unlock a door.
When the lock is controlled from a remote location via Apple TV, the Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-equipped equipped Apple TV can be placed up to 100 feet from the lock for remote control via Bluetooth, she noted.
The lock also contains an accelerometer to notify remote users that the door has opened and closed, if door is being tampered with, or if there has been a forced entry. Different audible alerts are sent for each type of notification.
The lock is powered by four AA batteries in a slot on the interior side of the door. They last for a year.
The lock can also be set to lock automatically after it is unlocked within preset intervals from 15 seconds to four minutes.
Schlage also offers the Schlage Connect Z-Wave-equipped door lock at $199. Schlage Sense is the company’s first Bluetooth door lock.
For consumers with electric garage-door openers, Chamberlain expects a free firmware update will be available in the fall to add HomeKit compatibility to its existing $129 MyQ Garage Smartphone Garage Door Controller, a retrofit solution for many brands of garage-door openers dating back to 1993. MyQ Garage consists of a Wi-Fi hub that mounts to the garage ceiling near the garage-door-opener motor. The hub gets remote commands via Wi-Fi and emits RF commands to the motor over frequencies used by major garage-door opener brands. The hub also communicates via Bluetooth LE to a gyroscope sensor that attaches to the door to monitor whether the door is open or closed.
For security reasons, a garage door cannot be part of a home-automation scene in which a door is opened when, for example, lights are turned on or off.
Also in the fall, Chamberlain plans a free HomeKit firmware update for the Chamberlain
Wi‐Fi Garage Door Opener with MyQ Smartphone Control. It features built-in Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for a hub. It also eliminates the need for a Bluetooth sensor to determine if the door is open or closed. It retails from $240 to $270 for the version with back-up battery.
Both the MyQ hub and the Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener are also compatible with Android apps, which do not deliver Siri voice control and have a slightly different UI than the Chamberlain’s HomeKit iPhone app.
MyQ Garage is available from Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple and Verizon stores,
on the Chamberlain website, and at Best Buy and FutureShop in Canada.
Chamberlain marketing VP Cory Sorice said many HomeKit products are now just coming to market a year after Apple announced its HomeKit initiative because, a year ago, Apple only announced a developers platform. Companies then had to test the platform and provide feedback to Apple on such things as how security-type products would and would not be activated, he said.