HomeKit woes

About a decade ago, I started to convert my baby boomer parents to the Apple ecosystem. For their needs, having a unified system and set of programs across their devices was the simplest, most efficient, and most easily understood system. Numerous iPods, several iPads, a handful of iPhones, three Apple TVs, and a MacBook Air later, I’ve been largely successful. With one annoying exception — HomeKit. 

HomeKit is Apple’s answer to home automation needs. Theoretically, one should be able to control smart home appliances from their Apple devices. This is exactly the system my parents would find great.

However, the devil is in the details. In order to command smart home appliances from outside of the home, one must have a HomeKit hub. As of now, the only HomeKit hubs are the latest generation Apple TV, an iPad that does not leave the home, or an Apple HomePod.

That’s not easily accessible. My parents have three functioning Apple TVs, and paying to upgrade just for HomeKit would be a bit much. My parents both use their iPads outside of the home, so that’s not an option. And who even knows when the $300 HomePod will be released?

If Apple is going to convert people to using smart home appliances that run using HomeKit, then they need to find a way to make HomeKit hubs more accessible. I’d happily dish out $30 or $40 for a minimalist, sleek Apple-designed HomeKit hub!

Apple’s pricing scheme is generally “not expensive enough to be a luxury good, but not cheap enough to be reasonable.” That might work for entrenched brands, but for newer ones like Apple Watch and HomeKit, they should perhaps take a different course.