Home Automation

Apple Announces HomeKit at WWDC

Apple Announces HomeKit at WWDCApple has announced at the 2014 WWDC conference for Apple developers the availability of a new development stack called HomeKit. What is HomeKit? Good question.

Based on the little information shared in the three minutes spared to discuss it, Apple is parternering with leading manufacturers in the home control and automation space—names like CREE, Honeywell, Philips, Kwikset, and Withings—to provide a platform to pull together the otherwise stove-piped control of devices around the home. [Noteably, popular Apple Store shelf occupants Nest, Dropcam, and WeMo were absent from Apple’s logo pool of partners.]

Here are the bullets from the slide in the keynote address that discussed this topic:

  • Locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches
  • Secure pairing
  • Control individual devices
  • Group devices into scenes
  • Siri integration

So it’s all clear now, right? Realistically, it doesn’t seem like much more than other integration platforms are offering—in fact perhaps even a little less if it depends on iOS alone and doesn’t support radios beyond those controllable by Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi. This is an area that will likely be further defined and explored over the coming months, similar to Apple’s initial debut of iOS in the Car.

Whatever it turns out to be, we may need to eat a little crow after our bold(ly incorrect) predictions on this week’s episode of Home: On.


About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a product experience consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.