Apple demos HomeKit in stores

A graphic of the homekit app

This week, Apple rolled out a new interactive demonstration of its HomeKit smart home ecosystem in 46 of its retail locations across the world.

The Apple HomeKit demos, currently available in select stores in the U.S., U.K., UAE, Germany, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan, help consumers understand exactly how they could apply smart home features to their daily lives.

The current version of the display includes the Phillips Hue light bulb, the Hunter ceiling fan, and a digitally simulated home on a monitor that shows off helpful features like being able to close blinds on demand. Each station is outfitted with an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, all with the full HomeKit software suite on display.

HomeKit also works with Apple TV, which is not included in the current version of the in-store demo.

The 49 displays show off the current phase of Apple’s smart home initiative, focused on customers using devices they already own to interact with their homes both on-site and remotely. A wider roll out of the demo stations will come with the release of the HomePod this December.

HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker hardware, meant to tie together HomeKit with the now-familiar interactive style consumers know from Amazon Echo and Google Home.

As Internet of Things devices proliferate, home automation is increasingly accessible and democratized. Apple’s demos will hopefully help bridge the final gap: helping customers understand how useful smart home technology is in a material way, not just as a curiosity or a toy to play around it.

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