Get ready for Home Kit

We ex­plore Ap­ple’s plans to put iOS at the cen­tre of your do­mes­tic domain

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Back in 2001, Steve Jobs talked about the dig­i­tal hub strat­egy, plac­ing the Mac at the heart of your home – at least as far as mu­sic and films went. But with HomeKit, Ap­ple’s machi­na­tions go sig­nif­i­cantly fur­ther, aim­ing to turn your iPhone or iPad into an en­gine that drives po­ten­tially count­less smart ac­ces­sories about your home.

It’s science-fic­tion think­ing ar­riv­ing in our re­al­ity – tap­ping on a de­vice to re­mote-con­trol lights, locks, heat­ing, garage doors, power strips, cam­eras and ket­tles. Gran­u­lar con­text-ori­ented group­ings in HomeKit will en­able you to de­fine rooms, zones and scenes, fur­ther sim­pli­fy­ing the setup or ad­just­ment of any given en­vi­ron­ment. Your home would trans­form with you only hav­ing to lift a sin­gle fin­ger – and then tap.

Of course, the idea of home au­to­ma­tion isn’t new and many prod­ucts are al­ready on the mar­ket. But the ecosys­tems are frag­mented and few cham­pion ease of use. By con­trast, those al­ready im­mersed in HomeKit strongly be­lieve Ap­ple of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“With HomeKit’s Siri in­te­gra­tion and ease of con­fig­u­ra­tion, it’s a breeze to set up and use”, says Car­los del Toro, Direc­tor of Prod­uct Man­age­ment at In­ci­pio, a com­pany work­ing on sev­eral HomeKit prod­ucts. “The frame­work of­fers seam­less in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with apps and de­vices across brands. You’ll sim­ply scan for de­vices and connect. The HomeKit frame­work se­curely takes care of the rest”.

Car­los en­vi­sions a fu­ture where “HomeKit-com­pat­i­ble ap­pli­ances and de­vices will be the norm at re­tail­ers”, of­fer­ing com­plete con­trol of your home with nat­u­ral speech and prox­im­ity-based ac­tion sets. And although HomeKit was an­nounced at WWDC 2014, last June, it’s fi­nally look­ing likely we’ll soon be able to, as Car­los puts it, “use HomeKit to en­hance our daily lives”.

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