With all the industry buzz about home automation and the Internet of Things, it appears the nascent technology sector’s growth so far lies in industrial applications. Perceived cybersecurity risks and confusion about the technology have combined to hamper its consumer adoption rate over the past year.
Apple may be poised to give the digital smart home concept a boost if rumors hold true. Cupertino is expected to include a dedicated HomeKit app in the next version of their mobile operating system, iOS 10. HomeKit is Apple’s system for controlling lights, doors, cameras, and other devices at your residence.
Could you soon be using Siri or your iPad to control appliances in your house? Let’s take a closer look at the latest Apple iOS rumors.
While HomeKit has been part of Apple’s mobile landscape since iOS 8, there has never been one HomeKit app dedicated for a residence’s entire home automation setup. Customers are currently forced to use vendor-specific apps to operate their compatible devices. If they own devices from multiple vendors, this quickly becomes a hassle.
While some iOS developers have created their own master HomeKit apps, one actually developed by Apple as part of iOS 10 promises superior integration as well as support for future devices. The success of the voice-controlled Amazon Echo, while not a home automation controller per se, is making Apple see the light on providing a HomeKit app.
The fact that Apple uses its own HomeKit app internally and recently trademarked a HomeKit logo, adds fuel to these rumors. Technology pundits speculate the new app will be known as simply “Home.”
“Scenes” are an important part of many established home automation setups, where a user can script multiple events to happen with a simple button press. For example, at bedtime one scene can turn off a home’s lights, lock its doors, and set the thermostat to a lower temperature. Current HomeKit users are forced to use third-party apps to get similar functionality or only purchase devices from one vendor.
This is arguably the most obvious use-case illustrating the need for a HomeKit app from Apple.
Most home automation scenarios use a minimum of Internet bandwidth, as it doesn’t take much data to turn a light on or change a thermostat setting. One exception to this rule involves security cameras, so if you plan on multiple cameras in your setup, be sure to perform a speed test to ensure your current bandwidth will suffice.