Smart camera manufacturer Arlo Technologies has announced that it ‘s adding support for Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform as of its latest firmware update.
Unfortunately for buyers of the company’s top-of-the-line cameras, the new connectivity to HomeKit only applies to select Arlo cameras, specifically the popular Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 systems. Owners of the VMB5000 model and the corresponding Arlo Ultra 4K will have to wait a bit longer to add their smart cameras to Apple’s smart home ecosystem.
On the bright side, the firmware update reduces the need for Apple HomeKit users to use the Arlo app or its corresponding remote control. The select models of Arlo smart cameras will appear in the directory of other HomeKit accessories in a user’s Home app and can also be controlled using Apple’s digital assistant, Siri, via an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch,or Mac computer. The cameras support almost all of the conventional functions of smart cameras including livestreaming, automation tasks and scenes, and the ability to use the cameras’ motion triggers for other accessories such as lights.
“Given the ever-evolving smart home ecosystem protocols and landscape, cross-compatibility is something we’re always exploring,” said Tejas Shah, senior vice president of product and CIO in a release. “Knowing HomeKit support continuously resonates with our users, we wanted to expand those offerings to our wire-free camera solutions. By optimizing the compatibility to work with both the HomeKit ecosystem, as well as the Arlo app, our users now have added convenience.”
Arlo is also pushing out its own firmware update that applies specifically to its Arlo Base Station product. After updating, Arlo Base Station owners will be able to access a HomeKit pairing code and add cameras in the Apple Home app.
Apple is said to be adding several new features to HomeKit in iOS 13, some of which are likely to apply to Arlo smart cameras, such as quicker access to other accessories while watching a livestream from the cameras. Other features will need more technical support from Arlo, including a new storage feature that will store video clips on iCloud.
It was a bumpy year for San Jose, California-based Arlo Technologies, a company that was consciously spun off from NetGear. While the lower-end models have been extremely popular, selling something like 12 million units, the company was forced to pull its high-resolution models, including the Arlo Ultra and Arlo Ultra 4K, off of store shelves earlier this year to address some performance issues, including battery life.
The Arlo Pro camera will set you back anywhere from $180 to $200, while the Arlo Pro 2 varies in price from $250 to $300, although we do see retailers putting the cameras on sale often.