WHAT IS HOMEKIT?

With HomeKit, Ap­ple has cre­ated the log­i­cal pro­gres­sion from AirPlay and CarPlay.Home au­to­ma­tion, all con­trolled from your iThings

Australian T3 - - SMART HOME 2017 -

With HomeKit Ap­ple is look­ing to sim­plify the con­nected home for you and present it on a beau­ti­ful user in­ter­face on your de­vices.

You’re al­ready able to con­trol your smart items us­ing their var­i­ous apps, so what’s the deal here? Well, the idea is that HomeKit works through those apps, sit­ting in the back­ground, and adding an ex­tra layer of con­trol, in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity, and pri­vacy.

Many ex­ist­ing prod­ucts are com­pat­i­ble with HomeKit (see the side­bar for some ex­am­ples), and what HomeKit of­fers is a clean, sim­ple in­ter­face, and that your home prod­ucts will work to­gether in ab­so­lute har­mony.

Pri­vacy is a key sell­ing point: Ap­ple in­sists that HomeKit data is en­crypted, so the only peo­ple who know when you’re set­ting your lights to turn off or your ther­mo­stat up are those who you have ex­plic­itly al­lowed ac­cess to your house­hold’s HomeKit.

Like ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) ‘recipes’, HomeKit lets you cre­ate ‘scenes’ to con­nect and con­trol ap­pli­ance set­tings in dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions. So, you could cre­ate a scene named “Leav­ing Home” that turns off the lights, locks your doors and low­ers the ther­mo­stat — all with one com­mand. Or cre­ate a “Wake Up” scene that opens your blinds, turns on the ket­tle, turns up the ther­mo­stat and heats the wa­ter for a bath.

You can use voice con­trol, too, thanks to Siri in­te­gra­tion. Ask Siri to turn one of your con­nected de­vices on or off, or launch a scene. And if you are away from home and you have Ap­ple TV, you can use Siri to con­trol your de­vices re­motely. For ex­am­ple, you can ask Siri to launch your “Com­ing Home” scene as you’re trav­el­ling back from work, and you’ll ar­rive to the heat­ing and lights on.

The lat­est HomeKit de­vel­op­ment is the Home app, which will cen­tralise your smart de­vices and add the sim­plic­ity and se­cu­rity of Ap­ple’s walled gar­den to your iPhone or iPad. The Home app is deeply in­te­grated into iOS, de­liv­er­ing a sim­ple way to set up, man­age and con­trol your home in one place, and uses end-to-end en­cryp­tion just like iMes­sage to pro­tect your data by mak­ing it un­read­able by Ap­ple and others.

With HomeKit-ready smart prod­ucts con­tin­u­ing to ar­rive on the scene and nearly 100 al­ready in the stores, who would bet against Ap­ple dom­i­nat­ing this area in years to come as our homes get smarter?

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