Archived Post

AWT News Update: July 30, 2015

We have an extra goodie in the AWT News Update today. Not only do you have today’s news, but Apple World Today accessibility editor Alex Jurgensen provided us with a tip for Think Different Thursday:

  • Apple is leasing space in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood
  • The “Spaceship” headquarters building being constructed in Cupertino right now will have a visitor’s center
  • USB Type-C is on its way to being more widely accepted
  • Think Different Thursday: Mono Audio

The written version of the news can be found below!

Apple’s HomeKit is a framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices through iOS and Siri. Announced last June at WWDC 2014, the framework was just a dream until today, when the first HomeKit-enabled devices began shipping. Here are some products that either are shipping or will begin shipping by the end of July.


ecobee has a wireless thermostat ($249) that will begin shipping on July 7 (pre-orders begin on June 23). HomeKit-enabled, the ecobee3 thermostat “makes it easy for you to monitor and control your heating and cooling anytime, from anywhere, using your smartphone, tablet, computer, Apple Watch, and now Siri (with HomeKit-enabled ecobee3).”


Elgato has four separate accessories that it is announcing under the Eve brand name. All of them connect to HomeKit and are available for preorder now. They are:

  • Eve Room ($79.95 – air quality, temperature, humidity)
  • Eve Weather ($49.95 – air pressure, temperature, humidity)
  • Eve Door ($39.95 – open/closed state, time & duration)
  • Eve Energy (€49.95 – consumption, switch on/off)


iHome has announced — but isn’t yet shipping — the iSP5 SmartPlug, a HomeKit-compatible switch that plugs into a standard wall socket. Either the iHome Control app or Siri can be used to control lamps, fans and any other device that is plugged into the SmartPlug. Two SmartPlugs can fit into a single wall socket, and Wi-Fi is required for the plugs to communicate with iOS devices. iHome has a complete iHome Control line that will expand in the near future. 


Insteon Hub (US$149) is a home automation hub that provides connectivity to a number of controllable things like switches, thermostats, and ceiling fans.


Lutron wants you to be able to control all of your lighting with Siri through the new Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit (from $229.95, shipping today). Luton also provides an Apple Watch app for controlling the Caséta Wireless dimmers and switches. 

Expect HomeKit and HomeKit-enabled devices to be one of the many items discussed on the stage during the WWDC 2015 Keynote next Monday morning (June 8) at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. 

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!