HomeKit and smart home de­vices

HomeKit is Ap­ple’s smart-home In­ter­net of Things frame­work. Ni­cholas Fearn re­veals the best com­pat­i­ble de­vices

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

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.

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