Last year, Apple announced their iOS version of IoT for the connected home, HomeKit. The framework consists of interconnected smart home devices (think lightbulbs, refrigerators, kitchen appliances, etc.) that can be controlled remotely via Siri, regardless of manufacturer. HomeKit is meant to provide a single portal for all these smart devices (although this has yet to be revealed) while also allowing them to communicate amongst themselves.
Despite its short mention in Monday’s WWDC keynote (head over to this post to catch up on all Apple Watch updates), we now have an idea of what kinds of devices will be featured in the first HomeKit compatible batch. These include gadgets capable of changing air stats and temp, turning lights in separate rooms on and off, and controlling window shades, lamps, wall outlets, cameras, door locks, etc.
On the market already are Lutron’s Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit ($230) and the Insteon Hub ($129), both of which monitor home lighting. Philips’ intelligent lighting system Hue will also be compatible with HomeKit sometime in the fall, although details concerning hardware are unknown.
An Apple Watch OS update coming later this year will also allow you to bypass the iPhone and control your home all via watch (although you will still need an Apple TV to do so). Of course, there is always the looming question of privacy invasion to consider. More data of course means higher risk, and the HomeKit’s reliance on iCloud is troublesome in the least (remember the great leaked celebrity nude scandal of 2014?). If Apple expects users to feel completely secure that information about their home stays within the confines of their home, they certainly have yet to prove it.