Ap­ple HomeKit

T3 - - Smart Home Essentials -

Voice con­trol and a clever app for a huge range of smart home gear… but only for Ap­ple users

HomeKit is a sys­tem de­vel­oped by Ap­ple that lets smart home prod­ucts see what each other can do, and work to­gether. It all ties to­gether through the iPhone or iPad – any smart home prod­ucts that are HomeKit com­pat­i­ble ap­pear in the Home app (they also have their own sep­a­rate apps, as usual). In the Home app, you can con­trol them, but also cre­ate groups of de­vices by room, and put to­gether a se­ries of com­mands be­hind a sin­gle but­ton press, like a macro (Ap­ple calls these ‘scenes’), so you could cre­ate a “movie” Scene that turns on the TV and dims the lights. You can set au­toma­tions too, based on time or things like hav­ing a mo­tion sen­sor trig­ger a cam­era and set of lights. Any­thing within the Home app can also be con­trolled via Siri voice con­trol.

HomeKit only works lo­cally, when your de­vice is con­nected di­rectly to the gear on the same net­work or within Blue­tooth range, un­less you have an Ap­ple TV or iPad in the house and plugged in. These can act as re­mote ac­cess hubs for your HomeKit de­vices, so your iPhone’s Home app can talk over the in­ter­net to your Ap­ple TV or iPad, which then passes the in­struc­tion out to the de­vices in your house.

Like Nest, HomeKit de­vices use an en­crypted con­nec­tion. There’s no HomeKit con­trol for An­droid users – they’ll have to rely on the other sys­tems here.

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