Those who have been excited for Apple HomeKit products to launch since the platform's announcement last summer will have to wait just a bit longer: it's expected that the first products will hit the market this spring, with some not debuting until summer.
While the wait has been unfortunate, it's hard to blame Apple for wanting to make sure that once HomeKit drops, it's going to be a solid product. This could especially be true after the Apple Maps debacle; the company simply doesn't want to run into issues post-launch. In fact, I think that's the kind of stance more companies should take.
Upcoming Elgato HomeKit products
One of the biggest reasons for the delay is that Apple took its time with regard to finalizing the specifications that would be handed to chip makers. While HomeKit was announced in June, device makers didn't receive these specifications until October.
Re/code notes that Broadcom has begun shipping HomeKit-suitable chips to device makers that would allow people to control the products through their iPhone, via Bluetooth Smart or Wi-Fi. But because the company isn't ready with its certified software, existing chips will help power many of the first HomeKit products.
Development of an example HomeKit product
In some ways, Apple might have a lot more riding on the success of HomeKit than even its smartwatch. With HomeKit, the possibilities are pretty amazing. Imagine, for example, leaving the house, and speaking a command into your iPhone that automatically dims the lights, turns the thermostat down, and locks the doors. Once you get home, the vice versa would occur.
The only thing I fear from a solution like HomeKit is what happens when something goes wrong, or worse, whether or not the system can effectively be considered bulletproof from a security standpoint. Time will tell.