In a world where the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice AIs are dominant, it’s hard to imagine that many people would be interested in Siri or Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. That’s clear from the fact that the HomePod has hardly been a resounding success. Thankfully, Apple has one way in which to win over consumers – by winning over housing developers.
In the heart of Milton Keynes is a new development of 56 homes, all of which are designed to be as energy-efficient and as smart as humanly possible. Dubbed Sommar Place, this development consists of two, three, and four bedroom homes, all of which provide a range of HomeKit devices. The homes have also been outfitted with Trivselhus Climate Shield, which should ensure that energy bills are at their absolute minimum.
While normal house buyers expected to move into an empty shell on completion day, that’s not quite the case for Sommar Place. That’s because instead of just receiving the keys, homeowners will also receive a box full of tech. Inside the box is an iPad, iPod Touch, HomePod, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV. All these accessories are perfect for controlling what lies inside.
The devices that are installed as standard include:
- A Netatmo Smart Thermostat and Netatmo Radiator Thermostatic Valves for controlling the heating
- A LightwaveRF Link Plus hub, LightwaveRF two-gang sockets, and LightwaveRF one-gang light switches for controlling plug sockets and lights
- LIFX bulbs for controlling lights
- An Elgato Eve motion sensor, Netatmo Presence external security camera, Elgato door and window sensors, Logitech Circle 2 camera, and a Danalock smart lock – all of which should provide a robust smart security system
- A smart indoor air quality monitor from Netatmo
- Linksys Velop mesh Wi-Fi
That’s not to say homeowners can’t choose to expand their smart home. In fact, HomeKit offers a wealth of devices that can control just about every function inside the home. When moving into Sommar Place, homeowners may decide to install Soma smart shades for controlling natural lighting levels. They may also want to add a smart air conditioner or air purifier.
Sommar Place may be amongst the first major smart home developments in the UK, but it’s unlikely to be the last. The company behind the development, Trivselhus, has already stated that it plans to roll-out more developments with smart home technology, while other housebuilders will likely be watching the success of this development closely.
Why Not A Custom Installed System?
The custom install industry is hoping to ride the growth of the smart home market, but it seems that DIY continues to win. Trivselhus had the option to use Control4, Crestron, or some other form of professionally-installed automation system, but instead opted for HomeKit. The company says that it was largely down to cost, which could prohibit custom installed solutions from being used in future developments. It was also noted that HomeKit offered the simplest control, and the best security of all the home automation systems on the market.