At Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), the company announced that it will be entering the realm of home automation through a programming feature called “HomeKit,” which will be included in the new iOS 8 operating system. Although there were relatively few details provided, this announcement has lots of people, especially in the home security and home automation sectors, speculating about what it really means.
We thinks it spells opportunity – for us, and for our customers.
What’s in HomeKit?
At this point the actual details on HomeKit are sparse, but from what we can gather, HomeKit will include a standardized protocol that allows smart home devices to communicate. Think lights, thermostats, locks and appliances. If these devices are designed with the HomeKit protocol, they should come ready to work. And yes, you would probably be able to ask Siri to control these devices in your home!
Other Possible Features
Another example of functionality that may be included is “geo-fencing,” which uses the GPS locator in your phone to know when you are coming or going, and to then perform certain functions (such as turning lights on or off, raising or lowering the temperature, etc.). As long as devices are “HomeKit certified,” they should operate on the new protocol.
Expansion of Home Automation
There are already numerous home automation applications on the market, and there’s no question that Apple’s entry into this arena will provide a significant boost – not only to penetration of more homes, but also the development of more applications. And that is good news for homeowners.
The adoption of HomeKit also means that companies like FrontPoint, who already offer home automation services and other advanced functions, should be able to expand and enhance their current offerings, providing an even better experience for the connected home.
Some of the HomeKit Features Exist Today
In fact, much of the potential functionality of HomeKit can already be used today, with technology that companies like FrontPoint have been offering for some time:
- Control lights, climate, locks, and appliances through a single mobile app
- Define behavior rules for devices based on time, or related events (such as lights turning on when a door opens)
- Geo-fencing (mentioned above) to trigger events as you enter or leave home, based on GPS awareness of your location
FrontPoint is Excited!
We welcome Apple’s announcement. After all, FrontPoint has been a leader in marketing and supporting the latest interactive technologies – through our integration of home security with home automation. We look forward to the increased awareness and expansion of available platforms that will surely follow Apple’s foray into the smart home.
We hope to learn more about Apple’s HomeKit plans in the coming months. After all, we’re always looking for ways to improve our current product and service offerings.
Just as we were the first nationwide alarm company to provide safer cellular monitoring with every system, we’ll be looking for opportunities to leverage new technologies for greater convenience in the home.
We want our customers to feel protected and connected – and for homeowners, that’s real peace of mind.