Home automation and intelligently connected devices aren’t just a myth anymore. Now we have products from Nest, Philips, Honeywell and more that are helping bring some of the magic of smartphones and the Internet into our homes. The only thing missing was one big player to make home automation for the masses both cheap and accessible. This is where Apple is hopefully coming into play.
At their Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June, Apple unveiled HomeKit, a framework for communicating with and controlling devices in your home. Compared to everything else that Apple unveiled that day HomeKit flew under the radar. Everyone is much more excited about iOS 8, OSX Yosemite, continuity and the new programming language than HomeKit. I guess that makes me an outlier.
The week before I attended WWDC I, and some other developers here at Bottle Rocket, created an app that can control Philips Hue lightbulbs with your voice. In order to do so we had to learn how to use Philips’ APIs and build an entire framework to do so. But now, with HomeKit, we don’t need to do any of that.
What HomeKit does is make one central framework that can control any HomeKit enabled accessory. So instead of having to learn and build an app that can control Philips’ Hue bulbs and then one to control Honeywell’s accessories, I can just build one app that can control everything. This means developing apps for HomeKit is going to be incredibly easy, which of course means that we’ll see a lot of amazing apps. The only problem though is getting people to actually buy these devices and putting them in their homes.
But here lies the magic of Apple. So many people own and use Apple devices that people have started to just trust anything they make. When an unknown company comes out with a new way to control your thermostat, consumers are going to be wary at first. They don’t have any reason to assume that product is going to be any good. However, with the ridiculous amount of customer satisfaction and trust that Apple has, if a company releases an Apple certified and approved device that can control a part of your home, I think consumers are going to give it a second look.
With so many large companies already on board to create HomeKit devices, we know they are going to want amazing apps to control them, and we are ready to make them.
Prepared by Justin Ehlert