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iOS 8 HomeKit will give our guests temporary access to use the house of the future

So far there has not been much talk about the HomeKit but curiously enough it could end up being one of the most interesting new features of iOS 8 if, as it seems to happen, the main manufacturers decide to jump on the bandwagon and bet on a system with all the advantages of giving a strong boost to home automation .

HomeKit will serve as hub for our smart houses , the concentrator with which we will be able to configure the connected systems and control them through Siri achieving in addition that several devices work together even though they are of different manufacturers. This means that you can use your voice to give a single command and that, for example, all the lights are switched off, the blinds are lowered, the doors are closed, the heating is adjusted and the alarm is switched on.

iOS 8 HomeKit will give our guests temporary access to use the house of the future
iOS 8 HomeKit will give our guests temporary access to use the house of the future

It is important to note that HomeKit is not intended to be a standard, but a gateway so that any company can benefit from greater integration with the devices in the block, Siri’s voice control and the interconnection between manufacturers with different standards so that the home automation market grows as a whole.

How it works

HomeKit allows third-party apps to perform three main functions: detect accessories and add them to a database common to all devices associated to our account ; view and edit this database; and communicate with accessories and services configured to perform actions such as turning on the lights in the room.

This database is also accessible through Siri to allow us to give commands such as “Hey Siri, turn on the lights in the living room”, and even more interesting, it allows us to create groups of accessories, services and commands to perform really sophisticated operations in a very simple way and with voice control.

Setting up your home

HomeKit sees our house as a collection of home automation devices that we can organize through a simple hierarchical structure. On the upper level are the Houses (one or several, our usual and summer house, or the main and guest house on the same plot), which optionally contain Rooms (kitchen, bedroom…) and have Accessories (such as an automatic garage door) and Services (provided by each accessory).

Additionally we can also group rooms of a house in Zones to, for example, divide the ground floor of the first silver. With this configuration set, we will be able to give Siri instructions like “turn on all the lights upstairs” , more specific like “close the blinds in the living room” or general like “close the doors” .

And enjoying it safely

Touch ID will undoubtedly play an important role in the smart house on the block, but diving into the documentation of the new Apple development kit we find two other details that are also worth noting.

Novedades iOS 8

The first is the secure pairing of devices with iOS so that only your iPhone can open your door, while the second states that it will be possible to invite other people to temporarily share access to certain devices. For example, to let a friend open our house while we’re on the road or to not have them waiting at the door if we’re on the way.

From the beginning Apple has been supported by 17 companies ranging from electronic locks to smart lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs or switches, but the list keeps growing. Haier, Honeywell, Texas Instruments, Philips, Broadcom, Schlage, Skybell, Osram Sylvania, Cree, Chamberlain, Marvell, August, Netatmo, Kwikset, iDevices, iHome and Withings have been joined by four more in just the first week since their introduction: Tado, Incipio, Lockitron and Lifx.

That’s Apple’s strength and why we can expect great things from iOS 8 and HomeKit.

At Apple

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