GE has announced it will create smart lighting with support for Apple's HomeKit.
The company wants to develop colour-changing LED lightbulbs that'll also include GE's Align technology, which is designed to improve sleep patterns by controlling blue light output at certain times. You'll control these bulbs with your iOS device and Siri, and they'll integrate with other HomeKit-connected devices.
"Lighting is how many first experiment with the idea of a smart home, and our insights show that consumers want the ability to control lighting from anywhere, automate lighting and pair lighting with other devices," explained GE in a press release. “We’re excited to announce our support for HomeKit.”
Apple developed the HomeKit framework so it could simplify the current state of home automation. It created a common language that devices from any manufacturer can understand and support. HomeKit also leverages Siri, Apple's voice assistance, letting you control smart devices with just your voice.
In the past, GE teamed up with Quirky to develop Link smartbulbs and lighting hubs. But with these new HomeKit-enabled lights, GE is essentially pitting itself against Philips and its Hue line of smart lights, which will also support Apple's HomeKit as well as integrate with HomeKit-enabled devices.
Manufacturers must add support for HomeKit to their devices in order for them to be considered HomeKit-enabled. When Apple showed off HomeKit at WWDC in 2014, it announced several partnerships with manufacturers, including iHome, Haier, Withings, Philips, iDevices, Belkin, and Honeywell.
The first round of Apple HomeKit-compatible products were unveiled at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, though release dates for many of those products - and HomeKit, for that matter - haven't been disclosed. GE said its lightbulbs will be available later in 2015.
You can learn more about HomeKit here.