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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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High-end department store chain John Lewis today opened up a new 230,000 square foot location in White City Westfield, London, and one of the store's new "experiences" includes deep integration with Apple's HomeKit platform. Called the "Apple Smart Home" section, Apple and John Lewis partnered in an effort to show London residents how HomeKit products can enhance their homes, showing off features like Siri voice control, connected lighting and heating, music playback, and more.

apple-smart-home.jpg

Speaking with HouseBeautiful, John Lewis senior PR manager Siân Grieve explained the reason for the company's partnership with Apple, instead of integrating with similar products from Amazon or Google.
But why have John Lewis decided to partner with Apple, and not Amazon, for example? 'A lot of John Lewis customers love and use Apple iOS, they have an iPad or an iPhone. Our stats revealed 77 per cent of searches onto JohnLewis.com are from iOS devices,' explains Siân Grieve from John Lewis. 'We know Amazon are going after this space, we know Google are going after it in a big way - this is our chance to bring that to life in an iOS setting.'
In a video shared by Campaign yesterday, you can catch a glimpse into the Apple Smart Home section at John Lewis around the 1:30 mark. The space appears to include a variety of popular HomeKit devices -- like a few Philips Hue lamps -- and numerous iPads are dotted around the showroom floor for customers to interact with. A few demo stations include explanations on how to use HomeKit actions like "Hey Siri" for turning on and off Hue scenes.


Outside of the HomeKit experience, John Lewis's new store aims to be an in-depth and unique shopping destination, with a dedicated Experience Desk where customers can find information on taking part in craft classes, marbling workshops, calligraphy lessons, beauty bar appointments, yoga classes, and meet with in-store fashion stylists.

John Lewis is also planning to launch an iPhone app so that customers can keep track of all these appointments, starting with a focus on staying in touch with personal stylists, "who will be able to provide notifications when, for example, a new collection of a favorite brand comes into stock." Eventually, the company wants to expand the app to cover other services offered by the Experience Desk, including home design consultations.

Apple has been known to partner with companies in an attempt to boost HomeKit adoption, back in 2016 working with various building companies to integrate HomeKit directly into homes from the get-go, ensuring that new buyers are more likely to stick within its ecosystem. One such home in San Jose, California included devices sold by Kwikset, Ecobee, and Lutron, with HomeKit integration estimated to cost $2,500 per house.

Article Link: Apple Partners With UK's John Lewis for HomeKit Showcase In New Department Store
 

EdT

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2007
2,208
1,813
Omaha, NE
I looked at lighting controls and video cameras late last summer and there really weren’t that many cameras and for lighting controls it seemed aimed more at colored (mood) lighting than at existing basic room lighting. And either there weren’t a lot of suppliers and products or the Apple website was massively out of date. And most of the box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards) had nothing HomeKit compatible, at least in store. Haven’t looked since, as I bought a cheapie GE RF controlled weather proof 120 volt outlet and wired the outdoor flood lamp into that but I was surprised at how little there was and more surprised at how little information was available about HomeKit. This seems to be another Apple unwanted step child product line.
 

Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
810
671
I looked at lighting controls and video cameras late last summer and there really weren’t that many cameras and for lighting controls it seemed aimed more at colored (mood) lighting than at existing basic room lighting. And either there weren’t a lot of suppliers and products or the Apple website was massively out of date. And most of the box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards) had nothing HomeKit compatible, at least in store. Haven’t looked since, as I bought a cheapie GE RF controlled weather proof 120 volt outlet and wired the outdoor flood lamp into that but I was surprised at how little there was and more surprised at how little information was available about HomeKit.

I added a bunch of HomeKit devices to my parents house late last year to help make their lives easier and up security. I am pretty happy with the results. Plenty of information available online. But more hardware choice would be even better.

Lights from Ikea are HomeKit compatible and I went with Logitech Circle 2 cameras. A bunch of HomeKit plug sockets from Amazon. It all works very well. And the added bonus is they can monitor electricity usage from all their devices - and spot any anomalies/issues, reduce usage of heavy hitting devices.

This seems to be another Apple unwanted step child product line.

To me it feels like the usual steady rollout from Apple:

https://www.macworld.com/article/1151235/macs/apple-rolls.html

And almost right cue iOS 11.3 expands to include software authentication hich should help manufactureres get on board:

"Since launching in 2014, HomeKit has been distinguished by a focus on security that has appealed to savvy consumers. Unfortunately, that focus on security has, until recently, also meant that it was harder and more expensive, compared with Alexa, for third-party companies to develop compatible products that met Apple’s stringent hardware and software standards. However, Apple recently announced new certification standards that will eliminate the need for a proprietary Apple hardware chip, making it far easier and cheaper for companies to develop new devices and—just as important— enable existing devices to join the fold via a simple software update. As a result, though there are currently more than 200 HomeKit-compatible accessories in nearly every major smart-device category, we expect that number to grow fairly quickly."

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/building-a-smart-home-with-apples-homekit/

It still feels early on in this "smart home" revolution, and prices are still a little steep IMO. I'm looking to move house soon, so I'm hoping offerings expand and prices drop a little this year.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,741
925
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
John Lewis is high end?
It's upper middle end.
i.e. affordable to many middle income earners.

I popped into Westfield White City a couple of days ago, and this JL is actually only a middle sized branch, AFAICT. The Oxford St. one seems much bigger, with much more choice. Bit disappointing TBH.

Anyone making a special trip to see the new extension to this shopping centre, is best advised to wait a month or two, as many of the newer shops are not open yet.

They could really do with adding some seating too, there's next to none outside of the food hall area, and older people like to shop too, not just youngsters.
 
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