Apple HomeKit is an iOS framework to support countless IoT-connected devices and homes from a single point. Apple claims security is its top concern and brings both safety and ease-of-use to consumers with its new technology, set to hit the market this fall. (via Apple)
Everywhere we look today we see emerging technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT). The concept of home automation isn’t new, but the IoT changes how people can access it. It allows for users to buy a diverse range of products from various manufacturers and sync them all to one wireless, user-friendly system that can do anything from give you mobile access to your home security cameras to timing your coffee machine. That’s why Apple is on the IoT scene and plans to create a one-stop-shop for all things IoT called HomeKit.
HomeKit is an iOS 8 framework that allows users to control all of their smart, IoT-connected devices from a single point. In theory, a user can connect multiple homes, rooms and devices to a single account and control any connected device by voice automation, powered by none other than Siri. Although Apple is known for making a big deal about its products, no matter what it’s getting ready to unleash (like its Apple Watch, which was only a couple of years behind Samsung’s version, and not so very different), HomeKit may actually be a prayer answered for both IoT developers and users.
HomeKit promises to provide a single point of control for all compatible IoT home automation products. This means that whether you own smart lamps, door locks or a cleaning robot, you’ll be able to access it from your iOS device. With this, it also allows for control of multiple locations. If you have a small business, guest house or second home, you can control them all with the touch of a button.
Another advantage of the HomeKit is that it stores all personal information across devices. If you enter in your individual preferences for one device, these will be used for all connected devices, saving you the hassle of going through the same tedious setup for twenty home appliances. This, however, poses a major concern for some.
One of the biggest concerns regarding the IoT is security. In a recent study conducted by HP, researchers tested a wide range of IoT-connected devices for security, including ease of compromising information, password security and more. In nearly 100% of all trials, IoT devices posed serious security threats, including easy hacking into home security systems and security cameras. Apple hopes to change that with HomeKit, as every device is encrypted end-to-end. This keeps information safe across the network and it will not be outsourced to a third-party, like some IoT technologies.
Apple is calling for both app and manufacture developers to join forces with the tech giant and help launch what the IoT should be – safe and easy-to-use. It will have to act quickly, however, to beat the plethora of new IoT technologies to come from Microsoft. Apple pushed its HomeKit launch from an elusive time this year to an ambiguous time in the fall. Hopefully when it does hit, it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Otherwise Bill Gates may reach his lifelong goal of finally one-upping the late Steve Jobs. Keep an eye on the IoT. It’s the future.
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