Best HomeKit-compatible smart home devices from CES 2017

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ces_homekit
HomeKit devices are spawning fast.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

CES2017 The jury’s still out on whether HomeKit will really take over our homes and all the smart devices in them, but new HomeKit-compatible devices continue to pop up all the time. At CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week, vendors showed off a bunch of them, from light switches to security cameras.

Here’s our roundup of the best.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock helps you get the most out of your MacBook Pro

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Coming soon to a MacBook Pro near you.
Photo: Elgato

CES2017 Accessory maker Elgato unveiled its new Thunderbolt 3 Dock at CES, offering a way for users to connect a pair of 4K displays to their new MacBook Pro, in addition to plenty of other legacy connection options.

Costing $299, it promises to stand in for the plethora of dongles you’ll need as the tech world makes the jump to Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C.

World’s first HomeKit community springs up in San Jose

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HomeKit is now getting packaged into new homes.
HomeKit is now getting packaged into new homes.
Photo: KB Home

Apple’s HomeKit platform is set to power an entire community currently under construction in San Jose.

Real estate development firm KB Home revealed today that its new community, Promenade at Communications Hill, will be the first ever in the US to have HomeKit technology built-in, providing a seamless experience from the foundation up.

Elgato’s HomeKit motion sensor is ready to automate your house

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The new Eve Motion sensor can detect when you get home.
The new Eve Motion sensor can detect when you get home.
Photo: Elgato

Turning your dumb old house into a Jetsons-style smart home of the future just got a little bit easier, with Elgato’s introduction of a super-cheap motion sensor.

The HomeKit-connected device, called Eve Motion, lets users pair it with other smart appliances and gadgets to automate workflows. You can then use Eve Motion to trigger a series of tasks, like turning on the lights when it detects that you walk into a room.

Apple wants to get HomeKit into houses before they’re built

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Apple announced HomeKit to developers at WWDC last year.
HomeKit-compatible devices are being built into new-builds.
Photo: Apple

In an effort to beat rivals like Google into people’s homes, Apple is reportedly working with building firms to incorporate HomeKit-compatible technologies into houses as they’re being built.

“We want to bring home automation to the mainstream,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, told Bloomberg. “The best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.”

Apple gives hackers a behind the scenes look at iOS security

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iOS 10
Here's how Apple keeps iPhone data locked right.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple gave hackers an inside look at how it keeps iOS 10 secure during a recent Black Hat conference keynote that has now been made available to view online. 

The keynote by Apple security expert Ivan Krstic discusses three iOS security mechanisms (HomeKit, Auto Unlock and iCloud Keychain) in unprecedented detail, showing key elements of Apple’s cryptographic design. If you’ve ever been curious how Apple keeps all your private data safe, it’s well worth watching. 

Check it out below:

Eve Energy smart switch lets you manage your home’s energy use effortlessly

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Eve Energy offers easy tools for controlling and monitoring home electricity use.
Eve Energy offers easy tools for controlling and monitoring home electricity use.
Photo: Elgato

Apple’s ‘privacy czars’ stop devs from getting their hands on your data

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Apple FBI encryption
Apple takes privacy pretty darn seriously.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Are you a third-party dev, advertiser, or Apple employee hoping to use targeted ads or personalized recommenders based on Apple customer data? There’s an app for that. Good luck with that!

That’s according to a new report, which states that Apple has an internal committee consisting of three expert “privacy czars,” who have have to sign off on any and all collection of Apple user data.

And if you thought the App Store review process could drag on, you’ve got another thing coming: debates over individual uses of data at Apple can, in some cases, continue for upwards of one year.

Smart sensor will blast you with backyard weather data [Reviews]

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Like my own personal weather station for the backyard.
Like my own personal weather station for the backyard.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Eve Weather by Elgato

Sure, I can check the weather using any number of built-in or third-party apps on my iPhone, but what if I want to know what the humidity is in my own backyard?

Weather nerds rejoice — we now have a way to access and track the weather from anywhere this simple, easy to use white box and associated app is placed. The Eve Weather outdoor weather sensor melds right in with Elgato’s other HomeKit-compatible products, too, letting me check the details of my local microclimate with ease.

I can also ask Siri what the temperature is in the backyard, which is all kinds of cool.