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I'm looking to renovate an old building and would love to incorporate various smart home devices so that the new structure is fully up to date and energy efficient. There seem to be tons of options out there in terms of how to get started with home automation, but I don't necessarily want to tie myself to one particular vendor with the products I end up buying and installing.

After hearing Apple's HomeKit announcement when iOS 8 was launched, it sounded like a good path to take, since any smart home device that communicates using the HAP protocol can be reached from an iOS device. Since it's relatively new, however, I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience trying to access multiple smart home devices through a device running iOS 8?

Any thoughts or comments on the potential roadblocks you may have encountered configuring a home automation network to work with iOS 8's HomeKit would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
 

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That's probably a premature adoption strategy. How many actual devices (of the important types you'd need most) are supported? Unless I've missed something, it's almost nada. Apple has so much mind-share out there that they are trying to turn the whole thing around and make the iPhone more important than the actual hard work of creating a powerful, robust automation solution that deals with messy realities involved. But, ultimately, if you don't have the latter, the former isn't much good. And Homekit is far from providing what's needed at this point. Applelites believe that Apple is so powerful they can force the entire automation industry (and the huge cumulative inertia of all of the companies that create automatable devices) to their plans, but I doubt that's very likely. It'll probably achieve some success, but that will be too far out from now for your immediate plans.
 

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...After hearing Apple's HomeKit announcement when iOS 8 was launched, it sounded like a good path to take, since any smart home device that communicates using the HAP protocol can be reached from an iOS device. ...
There are basically no HomeKit devices available currently. It appears that a key part of HomeKit's magic will be secure communications between your mobile devices (iPad, iPhone) and the HomeKit devices in your home ("Accessories") regardless of whether you are in the home or away. Very strong security is essential and it is apparently supported via firmware/hardware licensed from Apple.

Earlier this month, there was a report that the hardware side of HomeKit is moving ahead:

...chipmakers–Texas Instruments, Marvell and Broadcom...have begun shipping their chips loaded with HomeKit firmware to device manufacturers... That means we could begin seeing HomeKit-certified devices show up on store shelves sometime soon. Although Apple hasn’t officially launched HomeKit yet, device makers can at least start putting together their gadgets now that they have the wireless chip armed with the HomeKit firmware.

“Everyone’s getting ready,” said Brian Bedrosian, senior director of embedded wireless in the mobile and wireless group at Broadcom. “Expect to see new product launches in the next cycle of product releases.”
http://www.forbes.com/sites/aaronti...already-shipping-to-smart-home-device-makers/

So, how soon for devices? Nobody really seems to know. I believe Apple wants to keep a tight lid on news and have a big splash at introduction.

CQC, Dean Roddey's business, is currently a sizeable player in a tiny market. If HomeKit takes off--and I believe Apple has all the right ingredients for that to happen--then the home automation market will explode. Possibly that might be good for CQC...but I doubt it. You might want to read his comments in that light.

Craig
 

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As I've said before, if Homekit is closed and proprietary, then it will fail. If it's not, then any automation system can access it and benefit from it. So my statement has nothing to do with its impact on my business. It's based on having watched many an attempt in this area fail, and among those some that were driven by substantial members of the actual companies that would be affected by it.

As to the secure thing, of course if you use a real automation system with a centralized server, this is a given, since your mobile devices only need to talk to the automation system, not to every individual device, so even devices that are not Homekit enabled, and there will always be lots of them, can be safely accessed from outside the home. The phone based version of it requires that every single device be completely safe to expose to the outside world, and we know about how likely that is based on recent experience.
 

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As I've said before, if Homekit is closed and proprietary, then it will fail.
Essentially the same arguments were made against the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. I find them no more convincing now.

If it's not, then any automation system can access it and benefit from it. So my statement has nothing to do with its impact on my business. It's based on having watched many an attempt in this area fail, and among those some that were driven by substantial members of the actual companies that would be affected by it.
Apple has hundreds of millions of compatible iOS that are ready to use HomeKit right now. They are owned by people who have already proven that they're ready to open their wallets for tech products. Nobody else has an installed base and a proven market that is at all comparable. Apple doesn't even have to make a lot of money on this. They're doing it to get users even more invested in an iOS ecosystem.

As to the secure thing, of course if you use a real automation system with a centralized server, this is a given, since your mobile devices only need to talk to the automation system, not to every individual device, so even devices that are not Homekit enabled, and there will always be lots of them, can be safely accessed from outside the home. The phone based version of it requires that every single device be completely safe to expose to the outside world, and we know about how likely that is based on recent experience.
Sorry, but that is FUD. I could just as easily say: "I think the next version of CharmedQuarkController is going to be a disaster." I have no basis for saying that, either.

Current home automation products have essentially no security. HomeKit has been designed to be secure, from the beginning. I'd give Apple the benefit of the doubt; iOS has a far better track record on security compared to Android.

Craig
 

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Homekit connectivity is basically not yet integrated yet into any major devices...

Lightswitches, thermostats, door locks, sprinkler systems, home alarm systems or whatever.

Control4 or Crestron etc also havent setup with homekit to improve iphone based control. Perhaps homekit will pick up steam.

Homekit seems like an apple afterthought. Not sure how serious they are about it. I'm also not sure if other companies will want to support it and lose their own control over the market.
 
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