Thursday in CE: IKEA Adds HomeKit Integration to Smart Bulb Lineup
Earlier this year, IKEA said that it would add HomeKit integration for its smart bulb lineup by the Fall of this year. However, as 9 to 5 Mac is reporting, the company has pushed a software update to that lineup a little earlier than expected that enables Apple HomeKit for its Tradfri lighting range.
According to the report, existing owners of the IKEA kit should be able to access to access the firmware update on their gateway hub. Added functionality with the HomeKit integration includes, most notably, Siri voice control. It also brings the IKEA bulbs into the Home app for quick access alongside other HomeKit enabled products.
Though not major news in the sense that this was something the industry was expecting to happen anyway, IKEA’s update shows how HomeKit is progressing as a platform in the smart home space. Apple has been able to successfully expand their reach in a market that is expected to boom over the course of the next few years. Adding a name like IKEA is really just a drop in the bucket of what Apple’s already able to offer.
And it also shows that the sentiment around Apple as a company—that they’re unwilling to play nicely with other tech manufacturers and platforms—is inaccurate, at least from a smart home perspective.
The Essential Phone
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) August 9, 2017
Former Android chief Andy Rubin has promised that his much-delayed Essential Phone is still happening—and its release appears imminent.
Rumors suggest that the device could drop around the same time that Apple announces its new iPhone lineup in September and Samsung drops its new premium Note 8 device.
Though delayed, the Essential Phone is getting a major boost from some investors who’ve opted to back the product. As Bloomberg reported in June, Rubin was able to raise $300 million ahead of mass production of the first batch of phones. At the time, the investors were not known, but it’s since been reported that backers include Amazon’s The Alexa Fund and Tencent Holdings.
More CE News
- Uber announced in-app chat functionality that will allow riders to message drivers directly in the app. This is a much-preferred way of messaging as opposed to awkward texts and phone calls.
- It’s rumored that Fitbit is planning to release a new smartwatch that would supplant the Blaze as its flagship wearable. However, early design leaks appear somewhat uninspired and very similar to the Blaze.
- A new report from Forrester estimates that U.S. shoppers will spend nearly $460 billion online this year. Further, ecommerce is expected to account for around 17 percent of U.S. retail sales by 2022.