Rumors had been flying around in the last few weeks surrounding Apples possible entrance into the smart home market with a platform that would make it easier for iOS app developers to more easily integrate with home based connected devices, from smart thermostats to washing machines and lighting. New smart home devices have been sprouting up daily that aim to utilize the benefits of mobile technology as a means of controlling our homes. With that in mind, it was only reasonable to believe Apple would have a response.
As expected, Apple did indeed announce their step into the smart home market at their 2014 WWDC with what they call, Apple Home Kit, which essentially allows a user’s iPhone and iPad devices to act as a virtual remote control for their home environment. Home Kit will allow the plethora of smart home devices on the market today such as locking mechanisms, garage door openers, and the like to be certified with the interface allowing each device to be accessed and controlled through a single Home Kit app. This not only provides one single streamlined interface from which these devices can all connect and interact in the home, but from a user standpoint makes for an easier experience controlling them via a single mobile app, rather than a handful of separate manufacturer apps.
What is even more exciting, however, is Home Kit will also integrate with Siri, allowing users to call upon Siri to make adjustments to smart home devices without having to even pick up their nearby device. Once all your specific devices have been integrated with the Apple Home Kit system, it’s as easy as asking Siri for whatever you want. Even further, the application will allow you to set up various ‘scenes’ such as ‘bedtime’ or ‘wake up’ triggering a specific set of actions you allocate across all devices. For instance, telling Siri ‘Let’s wake up’ might trigger the lights, turn on your smart coffee pot, turn up the air conditioning, and turn on your local news channel on your smart TV. The potentialities of such remarkable connectivity among all your smart home devices through your mobile devices is astounding, providing for a truly optimized home.
With Google’s recent purchase of smart home device maker NEST, it will be interesting to see how they may follow suit in their possible further immersion into the market alongside Apple, along with the manufacturers aiming to integrate with Home Kit as the months unfold. The days of a truly smart home, are now upon us.