HomeKit and smart home devices
HomeKit is Apple’s smart-home Internet of Things framework. Nicholas Fearn reveals the best compatible devices
The internet has been a part of our lives for a few decades now, but for the most part, not a lot of things have changed. Apart from the rise of apps and social media, the internet has mainly been a product made accessible by devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. But that’s set to change.
Whether or not you’re a keen techie, you’ll have heard of the Internet of Things. While it sounds nothing more than a confusing tech term, it actually has big consequences for us all. Essentially, it refers
to a whole manner of products being connected to the internet, from fridges to cars. And pundits believe that over the next few years, we’ll see even more internet-connected objects come to fruition.
What is HomeKit?
Our homes are growing ever smarter, and Apple is one of the tech giants betting on the potential IoT offers in our homes and personal lives. That’s exactly why it launched HomeKit, a framework that developers can use to enable their smart products to be controlled via an iOS app, either from inside or outside of a user’s home, in 2014. HomeKit was first introduced during WWDC in June 2014, and during WWDC 2016 Apple unveiled its new Home app, which has now arrived on iOS 10, following the unveiling of the Home app which unifies the various HomeKit products into one simple-to-use app.
HomeKit is Apple’s own smart home IoT framework. Built for manufacturers and developers, it can turn the iPhone into a smart home remote. With HomeKit functionality, you’re able to control smart home products through iOS apps and Siri voice commands.
Home is a centralised Apple app that lets you control all of your HomeKit products. With Home, you’ll be able manage each of your smart products from one app, and even create Scenes and Room presets. Scenes can include ‘Leaving home’, for example, which would turn off the lights, lock your doors and lower the temperature in the home. Home works with Siri, too, so you could say “Good night” to set the Bed Time scene, or “Lock the front door” if you’re already in the car or in bed.