Siri hits the fan: Hunter debuts a HomeKit-enabled ceiling fan at CES 2016

The Symphony at CES 2016.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Siri's learning some new tricks at CES 2016. On display at CES Unveiled, Hunter ceiling fans will work with Apple's Homekit, allowing full control and integration with other HomeKit devices as well as voice control with Siri. These are the first ceiling fans to work with HomeKit, and the lineup that launched with a variety of switches and lightbulbs is starting to gain a bit more robust functionality.

The Hunter fans will come in two styles, called Symphony and Signal. I saw and got to play with the pretty plastic and fully functional Symphony at CES Unveiled. The demo used a doll house with wooden figures to trigger its functions, and showed how HomeKit's system can work together to create scenes involving both the LED of the fan, and the fan itself. When a representative moved a figure to one room in the dollhouse, the real life fan above me turned on while the lights in the dollhouse turned off. When he shifted it to another, the light turned on and the fan off.

It was a nice demo, but I was disappointed that the company didn't have a real life app ready to show me. But that's not the point with HomeKit, really. Since all devices compatible with the smart home software built into your iPhone speak the same language, any HomeKit app will be able to control the Hunter ceiling fans when they go to retail in February. Better yet, once you're set up, you won't have to use an app, as Siri can do the work for you.

signal-in-room-scene.jpg

The Signal.

Hunter


I'm looking forward to creating a "bedtime" scene that not only turns off the lights and locks the doors, but turns on the ceiling fan above my bed.

Both the Symphony and the Signal will have a similar price that a representative promised me would be under $400. That's also pretty exciting, as smart ceiling fan options in general are limited and the other prominent one from Big Ass Fans costs more than $1,000.

Check out the rest of our coverage from CES Unveiled and CES 2016 as a whole here.

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