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Apple aims to streamline home automation with HomeKit

The opening keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference today was absolutely brimming with exciting new software announcements, and just as we suspected, Apple not only pulled the curtain back on things like iOS 8 and the new OS X ‘Yosemite,’ but also took a brief moment to talk about its upcoming home automation software called HomeKit.

Unfortunately, Apple’s head of Software Engineering Craig Federighi spent less than 60 seconds on the subject, but even so, there was a fair amount of new information revealed about it.

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From the sound of things, HomeKit isn’t a full-fledged app at this point, but rather a framework that will allow developers to make all manner of home automation applications for iOS 8. It’s still unclear whether the kit uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or iBeacon technology to link everything together, but the company has reportedly been working with a slew of different smart appliance manufacturers to develop the necessary communication protocols, and it appears that HomeKit will work with everything from lights and locks to thermostats and plugs. 

Furthermore, HomeKit will provide users with a range of new controls for their smart devices, thanks largely to the technologies that come built into the iPhone. For example, the app will be integrated with Apples’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner to give users an extra level of security in their homes, and voice-based commands will be possible thanks to integration with Siri. 

We’ll update this post with further details as soon as the information is made available, but based on what little we heard thus far, it sounds like HomeKit is just what the fragmented home automation landscape needs right now.

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