Apple’s HomeKit will soon receive a nice shot in the arm. According to a new report from 9to5Mac, Philips is planning to introduce support for the smart home protocol sometime next month.
First off, a quick reminder about exactly what HomeKit does. The Apple-designed solution was designed to make it easier for users to interact with products in the growing smart home market. The biggest advantage, for now, is the ability to control and check the status of different devices by simply asking Siri.
And with the new iOS 9 and Apple WatchOS 2.0 updates, users can take advantage of predefined scenes and even activate devices through Siri on the Apple Watch.
Most importantly, Philips will be releasing a new standalone bridge that is HomeKit compatible. That can be used with any of the current app-enabled lightbulbs. The report says that the box will look similar to an Apple TV and sport connectivity lights on the top.
The HomeKit bridge will also be bundled with new starter sets, officially named Philips Hue White Starter Kit, the Hue Bridge and the Philips Hue White and Color Ambience.
Those revamped sets will retail for around the same price as the current kits.
And there is a bit of hope for current Hue users who don’t want to spend more money on a new HomeKit bridge. The site says that Philips is attempting to work on a software solution that will bring HomeKit compatibility to current bridges. But there’s a good chance that any software update will arrive later than the new bridge.
It has been a slow trickle of HomeKit-enabled smart home products since the first devices hit the market back in June. But Philips joining the fray could help bring more consumers to the party.
Earlier this month, Philips officially announced that its Hue Lightstrip Plus will also land next month and retail for $89.95 for a 2-meter strip. Buyers can purchase 1-meter extension strips for $29.95 each.
For other recent accessory news and reviews, see: Use Siri to unlock your door with Schlage’s HomeKit-enabled Sense deadbolt, Some of the best new cases for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and Tame the mess of cords on your desk with the new Guide system from Griffin.