During the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) keynote event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Apple introduced a new software development kit with which it plans to enter the fast growing market of home automation, the HomeKit. To understand Apple’s database-driven approach to home automation, Mashable has put up an interesting article, detailing what Apple meant when it revealed how virtually every home, room, device, function and setting would have a name in the HomeKit system.
Apple claims to have put a lot of effort into defining a common home automation language. At the same time, it is also well aware that not all devices will speak it. Therefore, it’ll be up to the manufacturers to make their smart home products work with Apple’s HomeKit. So, in order to work with HomeKit, a user might start by defining his home. If his has multiple homes, each will need its own name. The rooms in each house will have names, as well. Inside the house and each room, there could be a variety of HomeKit-controllable devices, which could be discovered and configured through an accessory browser on the iPhone.
“HomeKit will also allow users to control devices when they’re not at home. To protect users’ privacy and security, Apple provides end-to-end encryption between accessories. To further ensure security, HomeKit APIs can only be used when developer apps are in the foreground. “This enables us to have security so that accessories can’t be misused and user privacy can be maintained. It’s not good enough to be sort of private,” said the Apple engineer.
Taking this nesting data approach to home automation may, as Apple hopes, bring more people to the smart home table, but there still remain some big questions. While Apple has lined up partners, like Cree Lighting, Philips and Kwikset lined up, other home innovators like Nest, which is owned by Google, may steer clear.”
Sadly, Apple’s introduction to HomeKit at WWDC didn’t feature any home automation hardware. Instead the engineer only showed developers how they could test their apps with the HomeKit accessory simulator.