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Early CES releases, new version of Thread, & listener questions on HomeKit Insider

HomeKit Insider

On this episode of the HomeKit Insider podcast, your hosts go through some of the CES products that have already been announced, talk about the new version of Thread, and answer your listener questions.

At CES 2024, the Thread Group announced its next generation of its wireless mesh protocol that will make it easier to developer, troubleshoot, and use.

There is now a standardized way for mesh networks to share credentials, allowing different border routers from different ecosystems connect and create one large mesh network over your whole home.

It has also added new developer tools, easy onboarding for large groups of devices, Thread packets over PoE, and direct internet access for accessories. That allows them to access info like weather, sports scores stock prices, or whatever the manufacturer desires.

We also saw our first few CES devices announced. CES doesn't start til later this week but prior to the release of this episode we saw Belkin's new Qi2 devices announced and a new MagSafe stand using Apple DockKit that will lock onto your face and track you in the camera.

Samsung also showed off its new robotic vacuum. The new Jet Bot Combo is able to steam clean your floor as well as use AI to determine when additional cleaning is needed and will send out the robot again for tough messes.

UltraLoq had a new lock too for the show, supporting Apple Home and Home Key all with Wi-Fi connectivity.

After the news, we answered a few listener questions we got since the last episode.

Rodney wrote in to follow up on last week's episode. He said he uses a SwitchBot outdoor temperature and humidity sensor with his fridge and has had no issues with connectivity in the fridge and it shows historical data in the accompanying app.

Ben wanted to know if we had any suggestions for in-cabinet lighting. There are lots of options here and we break them based on how much work they entail and the price.

Julian has requested any Apple Home options or even any smart lock options that would be compatible with wooden gates. Of course it will depend on the type of latch, but we go through the options.

Finally, someone wrote in to ask what is the deal with Apple Home smoke detectors. We go through our favorite options and some other options that aren't reliant on swapping out your devices.

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