If some home automation enthusiast and Apple had expected some targeted announcement on the subject during the WWDC 2018 keynote, he would have been disappointed. Only on the last day of the developer conference, in a dedicated session, Cupertino revealed what are the transformations taking place for Homekit. But in reality a very important announcement had already been made: let's go in order.
On Friday 8 June, the last day of WWDC 2018, the session "Deep Dive HomeKit"And Apple illustrated the new development kit version for HomeKit accessories and two new types of devices.
The new version of the Apple development kit
The biggest problem for those who decided to develop a new device or make it compatible with Homekit that the programmer had to deal with the logic of the device, the protocol, the encryption (important for maintaining maximum security) and other tasks, not least the long series of iterations for Apple's approval.
With the new version of the SDK, only the task of the logic of the device remains and this should reduce the time to bring a product to the market from 1 year to just 3 months with a reduction of the effective of 75%.
The combined action of a simpler development kit and the reduction of requirements (on Homekit codes, MFI protocols) already obtained last year should theoretically lead to a majority of compatible devices.
Taps and Irrigation now simply Valves for water
There are not many devices integrated with Homekit for water management even though this was one of the leitmotifs of home automation at CES 2018. While last year we had Irrigation and Taps this year the category was integrated into a single and more practical Water valves in which the only European product that will soon be on the market in Italy is: Aqua di Elgato.
A Confirmation: speakers
Speakers like are included in the list of devices Homepod, already included during the course of the year. As we well know with Airplay 2 available from iOS 11.4 it is possible to manage them inside the home with access to playback (active or not) and alarm clocks.
The absolute novelty: the remote controls
The category of remote controls (remotes) that are not to be confused with normal switches, of which the Elgato Eve button or other third-party devices arriving in the coming weeks, is of absolute interest. The remote control intended as a Bridge device able to combine the ability to manage IR devices (TV, amplifiers but also air conditioners and more): a type of remote control that could be integrated Harmony of Logitech, a company that already has Homekit accessories in its portfolio (such as Logitech Circle 2) and which could be the first candidate for inclusion.
We take into account that devices such as remote controls and remote controls in general can use both Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi with the first most obvious candidate to manage an object with batteries that have to last a long time.
Last but not least Casa arrives on Mac
Finally with macOS 10.14 Mojave Homekit arrives on Mac: the home automation management finds its way on the desktop and laptop computers with the apple and it will be possible to manage directly from the screen of your MacBook or iMac and not only at home all the flood of accessories, access the connected cameras, launch scenes and maybe turn on the printer in the office, adjust the temperature of the meeting room etc etc.
Obviously being Siri integrated on Mac it will be possible to manage all home automation also vocally without the need for an iPad, Homepod or iPhone …
In short, though Homekit it did not capture the opening titles of the WWDC 2108 keynote and underlines considerable work to make it easier for developers to implement and more complete for end users. We will keep you up to date on all developments as usual.