Stephen and David spend most of this weeks show talking about home kit and the difference between Home Kit and the Internet of Things:
Some notes for listeners:
What is the Internet of Things?
The internet of things is where a device has network connectivity data and shares information back to a computer or smartphone.
An example is the Parrot Flower Power.
It looks a bit like a twig and you put it in a plant - then download the Flower Power app on to your iPhone and connect to the Parrot Flower Power through Bluetooth. You put into the app the type of plant the device is in and it will tell you how much water and sun the plant is getting through collecting this data with a solar and water detector. You receive alerts if your plant needs more water - or if it needs to be moved into the shade.
There are many apps like this available for many items that you may have in your home. But for each item you wish to interact with - there is an app. Which means many apps to go in and out of.
What is a connected home?
A connected home is where you can control accessories in your home, such as lights, door locks, security cameras, temperature control and power sources.
Each item in a home can be controlled separately
But with Apple’s HomeKit - they can all talk to one another in the same app.
And even more exciting - be controlled via the built in personal assistant, Siri. Turning on your lights will be as easy as saying, “Turn on the lights”
You might be asking, but how does it work?
Is Apple making lights now?
In iOS 10, there is a new app for the platform, called the Home App.
Home App allows you easily connected HomeKit enabled devices and create a smart home. It is accessible on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and even the Apple TV.
You can set up each of the devices on a full customisable Home screen. And you can set up scenes so that a series of events occur at the same time.
For example, you can set up an “I’m Home” scene, which will mean your front door will unlock with a schlage door lock, your lights will turn on with Phillips Hue lights and your temperature control will activate.
Or you can turn lights on and off in one area through the app, or just using Siri “Hey Siri, turn off the bedroom lights”
Apple Watch will also have quick glances, so that you can easily access the actions you may require on your wrist.
You can also swipe up on your Control Centre and immediately have access to controlling your home.
And all of this can use the Personal Assistant of Siri.
Use Siri to activate a Scene or an individual item.
Setting up HomeKit accessories are very easy! Just tap on the Add button in the Home App, scan the barcode on the box that the item came in - select the name and room and you are done.
You can use Apple TV and your Apple ID to become remote access to your home. You can be away from home and using your iPhone that is with you, say “Hey Siri, did I leave my front door unlocked?” Siri will go back to the Apple TV connected on the same network on your phone, check the status of your door lock and tell you. You can then ask Siri to lock the door, unlock the door if a friend is wanting to get in, or turn your lights on and off.
HomeKit can also do event and time triggers - even if you are not there.
Such as time based trigger - to turn your lights on every evening at 7pm.
Or geo based - so when you arrive home with your iPhone - the front door will automatically unlock.
All of this is done in a secure and private manner - the protocol or home kit is a two way handshake to securely set up the device.
To be secure Apple could not simply integrate with existing hubs and smart devices. It had to build a platform and then convince third-party companies to build to it.
Not only did this entail programming, but Apple was also requiring the integration of secure hardware for end-to-end encryption.
Apple’s commitment to security means they did not want any cloud-based services, no surreptitious data gathering to learn more about your habits. Nothing leaves the confines of the accessory-Apple HomeKit relationship.
Which means your home is secured, and the data on when you enter and leave and turn on your lights and everything else, remain secure and private to you.
You can invite other users to access your home and you can add and remove people as needed. So if you have a house guest, they can turn on the lights. Also, with Apple TV now having the Home App also, they can control your home through the Apple TV.
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