Before choosing a platform and vendor for your smart home; here are 10 things about the Apple HomeKit ecosystem that you need to be cognizant of.
1. HomeKit consists of Three Different Parts
The elements of An Apple HomeKit end-to-end system are iOS device(s), various smart home products, and optionally an Apple TV.
2. Setting up HomeKit is pretty straightforward
Apple’s HomeKit guides you through the process of configuring various types of home automation devices, ranging from smart bulbs and thermostats to water leak detectors and networked cameras.
3. HomeKit Embraces Siri
HomeKit integrates well with Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant, allowing you to use voice commands to control various in-home smart devices.
4. HomeKit takes Security Seriously
Apple takes HomeKit security and privacy very seriously. Encryption, set-up codes, and local storage of information about your home are some of the security and privacy measures used by HomeKit.
5. HomeKit is Expandable
HomeKit lets you build your Smart Home as your needs grow. As an example, some people start with a basic energy management kit comprising of smart bulbs and plugs. Once people get comfortable with this setup, they often start to build out their HomeKit network through the addition of various other types of smart devices.
6. HomeKit Supports Remote Access
Similar to other smart home systems Apple HomeKit provides the ability to use your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad to control your home over the Internet. Let’s say you are away for the weekend, and you are unsure as to whether or not you locked the back door when leaving. To improve peace of mind, HomeKit allows you to open up a smartphone app and verify that the smart lock installed in the back door is set to ‘LOCKED’.
7. The Range of Connected Devices Supporting HomeKit is Growing
There are a growing number of smart home products with HomeKit capabilities coming to market, ranging from being able to switch off lamps around the house with a smartphone, to automatically executing sophisticated music, heating, security, and lighting control tasks.
8. HomeKit works with Apple Watch
Surprise, Surprise; with HomeKit the Apple Watch can also be used to manage a range of smart lighting, heating, and security systems in your home.
9. HomeKit will likely support iBeacons
iBeacon technologies and HomeKit can be combined to enable you to trigger certain smart home functionalities based on your exact location at home.
10. HomeKit will also work with non-Apple based connected products
Although the smart home automation industry is relatively small, it is mature and comes with a mix of established networking protocols. Traditional protocols such as Zigbee, Insteon, and Z-Wave are considered to be particularly suitable communication technologies for households. Apple acknowledged this reality and has responded by providing support for hardware devices called ‘bridges’ that translate between HomeKit compatible and non-compatible devices.
This bold initiative by Apple is planning to tackle a big and complex issue, which is how to push smart homes into the mainstream. If the company is successful then we’re going to find ourselves at the beginning of something seriously powerful – enhanced smartness and intelligent levels for millions of properties around the world.