Apple has begun working with large US-based home builders, like Lennar and KB Home, to incorporate HomeKit-enabled systems into newly-constructed homes. HomeKit was introduced with iOS 8. Makers of home automation equipment were initially slow to adopt HomeKit, but it has begun to gain momentum in recent months.
With device manufacturers embracing HomeKit in greater numbers, Bloomberg reports that Apple has turned to large homebuilders to help get those devices into homes. One drag on home automation adoption is cost. As Bloomberg points out, a touchscreen deadbolt lock costs $200 compared to $32 for a traditional lock. Another issue is incorporating smart devices into older homes that were not designed with them in mind. To address both problems, Apple is focusing on new homes:
’We want to bring home automation to the mainstream,’ said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing. ‘The best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.’
By focusing on new construction, the cost of smart devices can be rolled into a homeowner’s mortgage at the time of purchase, making the cost easier to rationalize. New construction also has the advantage that it is easier to design devices into a home when it is built than to retro-fit existing homes.