iOS 8 HomeKit at WWDC

Amen. Apple already has all pieces of the smart home puzzle ready to go: the cloud component (iCloud), the mobile component (iPhone/iPad), the home-resident component (A-TV), the wearable component (A-Watch) and the software framework to tie it all together (HomeKit + Siri). The remaining components (sensors and actuators) will be supplied buy the MFi partners and Apple does not need to bother with them. They are just that - accessories. The next gen A-TV is rumored to have a microphone and a camera or some kind of gesture recognition because no one wants to use their phone to turn the lights on and off while at home.

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That sums it up perfectly. I didn’t even think to include the upcoming Apple Watch. And with iPhone finally including NFC (although locked in its current state) that opens up further doors. What excites me most is the possibility of really getting a fix on indoor locations, specifically as it pertains to rooms and occupancy. For truly personalized and nimble automation of everything, that needs to be the next step. Current motion sensors, even the PIR ones just don’t have the capability of reliable occupancy sensing. However, a wearable with bluetooth and a few iBeacons (hey, ST, how about sensors with iBeacons integrated?) could easily track occupancy and location.

And that brings me to what I mentioned below - media that actually follows you. I believe Apple just applied for a patent for a reverse airplay type of feature, meaning that content from your Apple TV could be beamed to a mobile device. Great example - you get up from a group movie setting and instead of pausing the movie and making everyone wait, the movie simply continues alongside on a mobile device or shifts to another screen entirely depending on your location. That’s only going to be possible with localized check-ins, and iBeacons was made for that.

The “Hey, Siri” feature also integrates well with HA if you consider it in the same manner of something like Ubi or Echo. It stinks the device has to be plugged in (points to you OK, Google) but if the upcoming Apple TV refresh does contain a microphone, you’ve got your centralized hub for voice control right there.

It’s an exciting time. Can’t wait for CES!


Something which is always overlooked is the fact that Apple acquired the company PrimeSence which invented the technology used in the Kinect.

From Wikipedia: “Described by Microsoft personnel as the primary innovation of Kinect,[26][27][28] the software technology enables advanced gesture recognition, facial recognition and voice recognition.[29] According to information supplied to retailers, Kinect is capable of simultaneously tracking up to six people, including two active players for motion analysis with a feature extraction of 20 joints per player”

So if Apple is working on sensors with facial recognition, then having our phone or any other wearable wouldn’t be necessary for a home automation system that can truly be tailored to each individual in a home.

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@tonyfalcone - great addition. Totally forgot about that. Opens up an entirely different possibility for occupancy tracking and presence. When you think about the Kinect, and the fact that the original xbox 360 version can be had for $99, that’s really only about 2 times the cost of something like the new Fibraro motion sensor. Apple’s recently reviewed documents about their iBeacon hardware was also an interesting look into what they’re thinking - I’m just really curious to see if Apple is going to implement any hardware solutions at all (outside of pre-existing tech) for the HA game. So far it seems like HomeKit is more about connecting other people’s stuff. The iBeacon tech makes sense because of their big retail implementation push… what do you think they’ll do with something like Kinect tech? Integration into mobile, laptops? Do think cost would be a factor repositioning it for home automation?

I’m not sure what new hardware Apple will bring to HA, but since they are a hardware and software company, I’m sure they have been working on their own system for a while now. Maybe they will have a sensor that incorporates both iBeacon and PrimeSense technology, which could be great. Then again, maybe they bought PrimeSense to be used in their long rumored Apple Television in the form of gesture control, which I think could be not so great . I do think they missed a great opportunity by not buying Nest. That would have given them a great piece for their system, plus they’d have Tony Fadell back in their fold. That plus DropCam and Waze would have been nice too, instead of Beats lol.

What I am sure of though is that whatever they bring to market won’t be a rushed, half baked effort like some of the offerings out there right now (by some large companies no less).

Actually, here’s a new camera from Netatmo that has facial recognition which looks pretty interesting:

I guess that’s the last thing Tony wanted. :smile:

Apple completely missed the boat on Nest, even if there were issues between Fadell and Ive. I would have taken Nest over Beats any day. I kind of feel like Apple needs to take the goggles off when it comes to music, because I don’t think they are going to win the streaming battle, even with Dre and Iovine helping out. I understand the reliance and importance of media deals, and hopefully Iovine will be able to help right the ship when it comes to Film & TV. Today’s announcement of new partners only solidifies Nest’s position as a leader and innovator in the HA industry. After the treatment I received as a former Revolv owner, I really don’t want anything to do with Nest anymore, but I feel that’s probably unavoidable.

Also - Works with Nest? “Nest-able” would have been ten times better. Sorry, Apple fanboy for life here.

First HomeKit-enabled device shown at CES:

What ever happened to this? Seems like asking about Nest now is the best way to trigger complete silence from SmartThings. Should I (we) just give up hope and quit beating this dead(?) horse?

Yeah I was disappointed that Samsung went on and on about their commitment to have their home automation open and supporting all the standards, but they didn’t even mention the one that Apple cooked up which will probably be 50% + of the market due to their marketing power and user base.

I’m most excited about Insteon’s announcement of a new hub that will support Homekit, I have dozens of Insteon devices so I can at least get all those into the device database and add new Homekit certified devices as they come along.

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Why would you expect Samsung to give any lip service to a strong competitor in a huge publicity opportunity? Especially when their primary message was about open standards, as you say; and Homekit is not really an open standard in the way ST and Samsung talked about. You can’t take a Homekit compliant device to another ecosystem and tap into it like you can Zwave or Zigbee.

I’m fully iOS/iDevices in my home, and I expect them to integrate with Homekit (especially based on the linked post below); but I wouldn’t expect them to incorporate that into a big Samsung moment given their history. I understand the skepticism, and I share it; but this was not the time or place to make any such commitment. It’s also very early for Homekit as there’s nothing out there yet.

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Based on some recent developments, it looks highly unlikely that SmartThings can qualify to be a HomeKit device.

According to 9to5mac sources, “Apple will allow its upcoming Siri-controlled HomeKit platform to work with certain existing, non-HomeKit home automation products, including ones using competing protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave, but there are many limitations.”

However, one of the more notable limitations is that “Apple will not allow home automation accessories connecting over Wi-Fi, such as a Nest Thermostat, to be bridged. Those will have to go the HomeKit protocol route and become licensed MFi products.”

So, all of SmartThings connections to WiFi devices pretty much ensures that SmartThings won’t be certified unless Apple changes its mind.

Any thoughts?

Here’s the article:

That would be frustrating, and might highlight why ST is taking a wait and see approach with HomeKit compatibility. At the same time, would ST really violate this since the devices are ultimately treated the same on the ST platform. That’s the beauty of it. A thermostat is a thermostat to anything outside of ST, and it’s only within ST that the protocol matters. In this way, Apple would be telling ST to make a change to a thermostat regardless of whether it’s a NEST or a zwave Honeywell.

I can only guess that this is Apple’s attempt to make sure that devices like NEST comply with the data/privacy requirements of HomeKit in order to be integrated.

“The company also notes, for instance, that any accessory regardless of how it connects cannot be bridged if it allows physical access to a home, such as a door lock.”

Yeah, hmmm… In my experience, electronic door lock is the single most useful home automation device. If the HomeKit cannot integrate with my door lock, I say “fu-kit”. In general, the more information about HomeKit comes out, the more disappointing it sounds.

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@ben is so going to you know what… :wink: