Apple is adding smart home experiences to its retail stores as the company moves to take a bigger chunk of the growing, consumer-facing side of the internet of things.
In order to make customers more comfortable with the idea of a smart home, Apple has added dedicated HomeKit sections to nearly 50 stores worldwide, according to TechCrunch, including around 30 in in US. The rest are scattered across Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. The remaining Apple stores will be outfitted with smaller, less interactive versions.
The company’s HomeKit area showcases third-party IoT products that integrate with Apple’s smart home software and demonstrate how someone can control aspects of their home, such as lighting and temperature, through Siri or their iPhone.
It’s not clear whether the HomeKit section will be a permanent addition to Apple Stores, but we can expect it at least through December, when the company begins selling the HomePod—a high-end home speaker designed to serve as a central hub for one’s smart home. Around one in six Apple customers want a HomePod already, according to a survey from Morning Consult.