Apple welcomes new batch of HomeKit-compatible devices

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Apple HomeKit
HomeKit is getting closer to helping you live in the future.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s list of HomeKit-compatible devices is finally starting to look impressive.

The company’s smarthome framework has been off to a bit of a slow start since Apple first unveiled it at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, but this fall might be when it actually hits its stride. The list of available compatible devices is growing, according to an update on Apple’s website.

SmartPlug turns your home into a modern-day Clapper

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iHome SmartPlug HomeKit
You may not get a whole lot of use out of a single SmartPlug.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Home automation, specifically Apple’s HomeKit framework and its compatible accessories, is the latest Thing We’re Supposed to Get Excited About™. And it has a lot of promise for convenience, time-saving, and just generally feeling like you live in the future.

The first HomeKit-compatible smartplug is upon us, courtesy of iHome. The ISP5 SmartPlug is a $40 device that plugs into your wall outlet and lets you run whatever you plug into it from your iPhone, using either Siri or the companion app.

It does everything it says it will: You can set up rooms and zones, and control individual appliances or whole groups of them with a tap or quick voice command. It also lets you build “rules” to make your stuff turn on and off without your input. All of this is cool, but when you actually have one, you might struggle to think of useful ways to use it.

iHome Unveils Bluetooth Headphones And A Blinker-Earphone Combo For After-Hour Fitness Buffs

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iHome's iB85 Bluetooth headphones .

If Cult of Mac ever created an award for “Most Prolific i-Gadget Maker,” there’s little doubt it would eventually end up in a cabinet at iHome’s headquarters (or possibly more accurately in a cabinet at their parent company, SDI technologies, which also owns New Balance and Timex).

Of the four new gadgets iHome has just revealed, the two we’re highlighting are a set of Bluetooth headphones endowed with the unimaginative moniker of iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Foldable Headphones and the somewhat more interestingly named iB12 Sport Earbuds with LED Safety Flasher — though the latter’s name is perhaps only more interesting simply because it combines the words “Safety Flasher” and “Earbuds.”

iHome Adds Lightning To Hotel Favorite iDL45 Dock

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If you stayed in any but the most flea-bitten of hotels in the last few years, you will have seen an iHome dock on the nightstand, ready to be mostly ignored until you need a place to charge your iPhone at night.

And as you eyed the clock/radio/speaker you may have chuckled to yourself and muttered something about the poor hotel owner, who just wasted like tens of thousands of dollars on now-obsolete 30-pin connector-equipped boxes.

If only he's waited, he could have had this new Lightning version, which also works with older models.

A Mighty Avalanche Of Bluetooth-Enabled iHome Toys Is Thundering (And Lightning) Toward You [CES 2013]

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That big purple-looking boombox is the iBT44.

CES 2013 bug LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Apple accessory powerhouse iHome unleashed a mighty avalanche of products last night, the lion’s share of which was Bluetooth in nature. Highlights from the deluge include a Bluetooth version of the perennially popular iMH series portable speakers and the quirky iBT44, a Bluetooth boombox — not simply a Bluetooth-equipped speaker that some marketing guru has slapped the term with, but an honest-to-goodness, FM-equipped stereo circa 1983, only covered in rubber. Oh, and there was also a double-Lightning clock-dock. And Bluetooth headphones. And more Bluetooth speakers. And regular speakers.

LG’s Missing The Opportunity To Make A Siri-Controlled iHome A Reality [CES 2013]

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CES 2013 bug LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 –  LG’s mission for 2013 is to help you “touch the smart life.” At least, that’s what CEO Wayne Park claimed when he jumped on stage at CES this morning. They make a lot of products that are smart, and LG just wants your life at home to be simple and stress-free.

LG makes everything for your home. I mean literally everything. Yeah, they make smartphones and TVs, but they also make ovens, refrigerators, robot vacuums, microwaves, washing machines – EVERYTHING.

Nearly every major appliance that you have in your house could probably be replaced by an LG version. If any company could make a Siri-controlled iHome before Apple, then it’s LG. But because they’re trying to do so much, their version of the smart home still sucks, and it gives Apple an advantage to become the company that controls your home.