IoT Podcast Episode 76: Tips and tricks for Apple’s HomeKit

Have you downloaded iOS 10 yet? If you have, and are wondering what to do with the Home app and your HomeKit home automation, then this show is for you. The IoT Podcast with Stacey Higginbotham brought on Adam Justice the head of ConnectSense, to discuss his experience with HomeKit so far (check out his video series).

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The Apple Home App, HomeKit, And The Smart Home Industry In 2016

Apple has finally delivered their very own, dedicated Home app for managing HomeKit devices. At WWDC 2016, Apple announced their app creation that will hopefully be able to establish a more unified industry and fulfil the initial promises regarding the power of HomeKit. The Home app offers a variety of new features to enhance the current HomeKit experience.

HomeKit will now be accessible through Control Center, giving the user complete control over their devices. Users will have the ability to check alerts as well as view third-party HomeKit apps from the lock screen. From the Home app, scenes can be created to control numerous devices at once. A couple of the new devices that will be added to HomeKit are video devices and netcams. These devices will also be accessible through the HomeKit app.

Some of the best features of HomeKit can be utilized with Siri voice commands. Siri allows the user to control devices and scenes vocally through the Home app. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet was one of the first HomeKit devices to utilize Siri before the Home app was created. Siri will now be a primary way to use the Home app, making the Smart Outlet even more compatible with HomeKit. Other interesting features include the use of beacons and geofencing, which can use location as a method of controlling scenes. All of these features can be accessed remotely through the Apple TV, allowing a secure remote access point for managing HomeKit devices.

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What You Missed About Apple HomeKit During WWDC 2016

Apple HomeKit is continuing to become a more powerful smart home automation tool. Apple announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that they have developed a “Home” app for Apple HomeKit-enabled smart home products. The Home app will be used to aggregate home automation devices, such as the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, getting them to work together in an easy and secure fashion. The HomeKit update that comes with iOS10 will include more categories of smart devices to help user’s organize their devices more efficiently. The Home app is perfectly integrated into iOS10, making it accessible from the home screen and the control panel. The Apple Home app is supported on the iPad and Apple Watch as well.

The app itself is a central point of organization for a connected home that allows the user to create a personalized screen. The various smart devices the user owns can be separated into scenes. For example, a “goodnight” scene would turn off all of the lights upstairs and set the thermostat to 70 degrees. These scenes and any accessories can be controlled with the touch of a button within the app itself or by using the control panel. The scenes also interact with Siri voice controls, making it extremely simple to control devices. The app also has geo-fences that allow scenes or devices to be activated based off of location. An example of this would be the garage door opening when the user pulls into the driveway.

The Home app also creates very sleek and detailed notifications that can appear on the lock screen. An example of a notification would be if someone was at the user’s home. A notification would alert the user if someone is at the door. Then they can use 3D touch to access a live feed of the person standing at the door and display it on the lock screen.

This app will also give the user secure, remote-access through their AppleTV. The AppleTV is always on and connected to the network in a user’s home. This makes it a secure point for remote access and automation when away from home. The communication between the app and HomeKit devices can contain very sensitive information, which is why Apple uses end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of all users.

ConnectSense was featured on the Apple HomeKit slide, demonstrated that ConnectSense is a key partner, creating great devices for HomeKit. The Siri voice control options with the Smart Outlet will allow for easy integration with the Home app. This new app will allow the Smart Outlet and other devices to be controlled in one place, allowing for much greater control over a home environment.