Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) showed off its HomeKit API today during the keynote speech for its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). The API offers Siri control and wireless connection to smart devices throughout the home.
How Apple’s HomeKit works
Currently there is a nearly endless list of so-called “connected” or “smart” devices. The big problem in the industry is that there is no “one device to rule them all.” Everything is sort of fragmented, and there’s no easy way to control it all. When the rumors about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) providing a solution started flying, people were expecting great things, but it seems like the company has disappointed in this area.
HomeKit is not a special app that can control all kinds of other smart devices. It does, however, provide the framework that will make it possible for users to group a number of devices into “scenes” within the user interface. With apps based on the HomeKit framework, they can then use basic voice commands through Siri. For example, the user could say, “Bedtime,” and it would shut down the TV, turn on the home security system and turn off all the lights.
Apple reveals HomeKit partners
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said it has partnered with a number of companies for the HomeKit API. Chamberlain, which makes connected garage door openers, and smart lock makers Schlage and August are among the partners. Apple also partnered with Netatmo, which makes thermostats and kits for monitoring the weather, and Withings, which makes health and fitness products.
The company also said it partnered with chip makers because it must create a common network protocol which allows for secure pairing, ensuring that only your iPhone can connect to your own connected devices. Marvell, Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE), Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) and Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) are among those that have already been embedding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s tech into their smart devices.