Apple retail expands HomeKit demos with Nanoleaf Remote hands-on area

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Apple is expanding their in-store HomeKit marketing and demonstrations in-store with a new hands-on display featuring the Nanoleaf Remote and the company's colorful LED light panels.

Many HomeKit products are available within Apple Stores, from outlets, to lights, to cameras. Few have ever gotten their own interactive demos.

The Nanoleaf demonstration stations were launched globally on July 18 at 200 of Apple's retail stores. In the installations, users can try Nanoleaf's new dodecahedron Remote and see how they can control the company's triangular light panels. Nanoleaf's Remote on display is able to both change the brightness, as well as alternate between scenes.

A custom app experience also runs on an iPhone so users can see how the app is able to command the light panels, and create complex scenes with different colors, transitions, and timings.

In the store, the demo focuses on using the Remote with Nanoleaf's own light panels. It is actually capable of controlling any HomeKit accessory, making it much more useful. We previously examined the remote at the core of the demonstration stations, finding it to be a solid remote for HomeKit, even if it requires a bit of user education.

Previously, Apple rolled out interactive HomeKit demonstration areas in 46 stores across the US with video walls simulating a smart home. Visitors are able to to use the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch and see how the changes play out.

HomeKit will be gaining some new functionality come this fall with the launch of iOS 12. Remotes have been added as a new HomeKit category, the app has been made a bit more approachable in certain aspects, and manufacturers have a new dev kit aimed to decrease time-to-market.

Users in macOS Mojave will also be able to start controlling their smart home too, with support for Siri and the newly-ported Home app.