De­vel­oper In­ter­view

Mac Format - - APPLE HOMEKIIT - Flo­rian Al­brecht Direc­tor, User Ex­pe­ri­ence, El­gato (el­gato.com) Flo­rian over­sees the user in­ter­face de­sign strat­egy of El­gato’s app-pow­ered ac­ces­sory prod­ucts

MacFor­mat: What is the main ad­van­tage of HomeKit?

Flo­rian: Ap­ple is about bring­ing great user ex­pe­ri­ence to tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts. We be­lieve HomeKit has the po­ten­tial to make home au­to­ma­tion ac­ces­si­ble to the main­stream. Many com­pet­ing and pro­pri­etary stan­dards al­ready ex­ist, but none put the main fo­cus on the end user. HomeKit is de­signed to be sim­ple, con­sis­tent and se­cure, keep­ing the data about your home pri­vate. Those at­tributes are im­me­di­ate benefits for the cus­tomer.

MF: As a de­vel­oper, what are your thoughts on HomeKit?

Flo­rian: By pro­vid­ing com­mon pro­to­cols, cer­ti­fied hard­ware and an SDK, HomeKit en­ables com­pa­nies to do what they do best. It lets hard­ware ven­dors fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing great sen­sor and con­trol prod­ucts, and it gives soft­ware com­pa­nies the op­por­tu­nity to in­no­vate on apps in a way most tra­di­tional hard­ware com­pa­nies can’t. El­gato has a very strong hard­ware and soft­ware back­ground. We are con­fi­dent that we can make a very mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion that will de­light all users of HomeKit.

MF: How did you find work­ing on a HomeKit prod­uct? What chal­lenges did you face?

Flo­rian: Adopt­ing new tech­nol­ogy at an early stage re­sults in both unique chal­lenges and also unique op­por­tu­ni­ties. HomeKit is a brand new plat­form that is just get­ting started, and so we con­tinue to en­joy both sides ev­ery sin­gle day. Im­ple­ment­ing the se­cu­rity mech­a­nisms re­quired by HomeKit was a task that re­quired lots of very fo­cused ef­fort, es­pe­cially since our de­vices are bat­tery­pow­ered. Ul­ti­mately, this level of care is great for the end user, the ecosys­tem and the de­vices that we cre­ate.

MF: What are your hopes for the fu­ture of work­ing with HomeKit and for con­sumers us­ing HomeKit prod­ucts?

Flo­rian: We be­lieve HomeKit will en­able a new cat­e­gory of con­sumer-friendly home au­to­ma­tion prod­ucts, both for us as in­di­vid­ual users and also for El­gato as a cre­ator of such prod­ucts. From the ex­pe­ri­ences we have gath­ered cre­at­ing th­ese ac­ces­sories, we’re thrilled to see this ecosys­tem get­ting started and can’t wait to be a part of it.

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