iOS 8 HomeKit at WWDC

The software requirements for homekit don’t seem onerous. The only restriction that I see that some companies might dislike are restrictions on data collection but as a consumer I’m all for protecting what data gets harvested from my usage.

From a hardware perspective, it’s probably more difficult, but ST could probably support homekit in the app without getting MFI certification for the hardware.

I am sure the apple mfi is locked up tight however not tight enough for other small companies like netatmo and August to be horrible based on those that already signed it. My hunch and I could be wrong is the love hate relationship between Samsung and apple is the current reason for legal issues. The fact that there are still outstanding court cases between the two companies is probably making smartthings council (if different from Samsung council) a bit squirmy and doesn’t want to piss off the new smartthings overlord Samsung. Again could be wrong.

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It is a pretty big win for small entities. Like the original app store, it will attract a lot of smaller players who are willing to submit to Apple’s restrictions for the benefit of tried and true marketing and distribution.

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Apple’s guidelines around HomeKit are quite restrictive and it is unclear if we would meet them.

“Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining”.

“Apps using data gathered from the HomeKit API for purposes other than improving the user experience or hardware/software performance in providing home automation functionality will be rejected”

While some might see this as a good thing (@linda) these terms put SmartThings at the mercy of Apple for some fairly core uses. There are use cases that we or the community may come up with that violate these terms and then the entire mobile app could be rejected (even if it were only a SmartApp that violated it).

@ben, I (and I suspect Apple though I obviously can’t speak for them) don’t have an issue with data collected to perform the function of the app. It’s data collected for other purposes that I have issues with. We’re trusting ST and any home automation app with a lot of personal information about our lives.

In any event, it seems that Apple’s home kit evangelist could go a long way toward answering the sorts of questions you raise. From a consumer perspective, we want our automation pieces to work together. Home kit is potentially a great way to help that happen.

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@Ben that does not sound that onerous as whatever data you need to optimize the experience you can consume and the rest we would not expect you to store or use for any kind of data mining purpose. You might not have as much control on the data as much as you like but in this ecosystem there will be devices you will have control on say a smartthings motion but not as much with say a Nest. As long as you have the data to report the status of the device and take action against it using a smartapp that should be fine and it will all iron out. If this is a battle of ego’s then this is not a technical discussion anymore. I would agree with @linda that this will eventually be good for the consumer and make Smartthings one of the largest home automation ecosystems out there which balances the need to “just” support something and provide extensive developer API’s for people who love to custom code the heck out of everything .


I wonder if you could add this to the existing z-wave network to get home kit control over at lest the z-wave devices.

Edit: It looks like it does.
“Z-Way can work as primary and as secondary controller (to work with other Z-Wave controllers).”

I just wanted to chime in and express how interesting and exciting HomeKit integration would be.
I know Smartthings has modified a lot of things to be compatible with Nest. I hope they would take a second look at HomeKit and see what would be necessary. Nest has the Google Now integration that was recently released. It would be cool to control Smartthings with Siri.

The data retention and use restrictions with HomeKit mostly pertain to the misuse and mining of data (especially for commercial purposes). It also restricts what data Smartthings can pull from Apple without abusing it (data from iPhones)- which is reasonable considering that we’re dealing with people’s homes, locations, locks, etc. I would be worried if Smartthings was not complying with basic data security! With the changes made to Smartthings own data retention (down to 7 days, etc) to comply with Nest requirements, I’m sure they are likely to already meet most of the requirements.

It’s still early in the game, but I hope the fine folks at Smartthings don’t discount Apple’s HomeKit too easily.


I’ll be pretty blunt here.

If Smartthings does not support HomeKit, my family and friends will be looking for alternative solutions to run our home. I really hope that all the time and money invested in ST will not be wasted.


I am curious. Which hubs or devices does support HomeKit right now?

There’s been a few announcements already. Expect more at CES.

You can throw the new $40 Insteon hub on that list as well. I also think Logitech might have committed to HomeKit as well, but I have not confirmed that this morning.

same here. I hope they dont ignore a whole population of iPhone users.

It may not matter if SmartThings supports HomeKit or not. One way to look at HomeKit is that it is a UI superstructure with good iOS 8 support, including fairly deep Siri integration. The SmartThings hub will be a “bridge” in HomeKit. Just as developers have already implemented UI superstructures for ST, e.g. ActiON, Home Automation Dashboard, etc., a developer other than SmartThings can do the same thing with HomeKit. If ActiON can scarf up all of your devices into a Dashboard, a similar app could scarf up all of your devices into HomeKit. The cool thing about a HomeKit bridge, is that while the bridge device (ST Hub) handles all of the “dirty work” of running the devices (think Z-Wave and Zigbee), those devices show up in HomeKit in Homes, Rooms, and Accessories. This should be pretty straight forward, and it should happen with or without ST involvement. If ST has a problem with Apple’s terms, one of us as a developer probably would not have the same problem.

I don’t think HomeKit is such a big deal, unless you really need Siri for some reason. I sure don’t walk around my home with my iPhone, just hankering to tell Siri to turn on a light. Interesting issue is that HomeKit only works when the iPhone has connectivity, just like ST only works when the hub has connectivity. It’s fairly obvious that robust HA requires at a minimum a hub like ST’s to function, and HomeKit doesn’t address that need AT ALL. It makes an accommodation for it through it’s bridge support and functionality, but someone else has to provide the hub.

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A…a…a…Apple TV…choo!



This summarizes the whole HomeKit issue really well. I too fail to see what the groundbreaking significance of HimeKit integration is.

HK does not magically solve any problems, it only adds a thin Applesque layer for the user to interact with, but someone else has to do the heavy lifting.

For ST, not to support HK would be a mistake. Just like it would have been a mistake for Apple not to make some noise in HA.

@625alex, I was figuring this would be your next project – ActiON-Kit. :smiley:

I have no personal interest developing for apple devices and doing it for money would not be worth it.

My wife has everything from apple, I’m an Android guy. Even if there was HomeKit integration and Siri, she wouldn’t use it anyway. ActiON Dashboard was designed for her and she is now worming up to HA.

Considering that ST couldn’t sort out device labels on mobile app, I don’t think we should worry about HomeKit.

I’m gonna have to agree with @chuckles on this one. While HomeKit may not be much of anything at this point, I think it’s still worth giving consideration. I for one do not believe that Apple would turn their nose up at the home automation industry, not when it’s worth an estimated 12 billion dollars.n They’d be idiots to not have a stake in the game. And that’s why I think you’ll see HomeKit expand with Apple TV. The introduction of iBeacons, Handoff and Continuity on iOS and Yosemite also help lay the foundation of automating media - we’re not far off from a time when your media is going to follow you from room to room or device to device.

@bravenel, you may not carry your phone with you around the house all the time, but many of us do - especially those who’ve grown up with a mobile device attached at the hip. And while I don’t necessarily want to be asking Siri to turn on my lights all the time, there is clearly a growing interest in voice controlled tasking - look at Ubi or Echo - perfect examples of how voice commands could be integrated into your smart home.

I don’t think HomeKit in its current form is groundbreaking by any means, but I do think Apple is laying the foundation for deeper integration within their own eco-system and that does excite me as I’ve been a long time Apple user.

Thanks for sharing your insight @bravenel!