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