For as innovative and cutting edge as smart home technology appears (and hopes) to be, its growing list of peccadillos don’t appear to be doing it any favors. This time around, a man living in Springfield, Missouri, made the unfortunate discovery that anyone capable of saying the phrase, “Hey Siri, unlock the front door,” could gain access to his Apple HomeKit-enabled house.
Due in part to the fact this man operates his Appled-out home with an iPad Pro situated in the living room, all it took was a loud voice command before the iPad’s Siri function completed the request. Sure, he could have password-protected his iPad, but the fact remains: This man’s smart home isn’t quite as smart as it lets on.
After opting to go full-on smart home mode, 31-year-old Springfield resident Marcus (the man in question) outfit his entire home with Apple HomeKit gear which should have made his daily life a load easier. Unsurprisingly, the tech actually worked wonders upon its initial installation, properly dimming lights, unlocking locks, and turning on the TV after quick requests to the before-mentioned iPad Pro. Enthusiastic as all get out, Marcus wanted to show off his newly integrated abode to his neighbor, Mike. After returning home one day, Mike greeted Marcus by showing him how easily it was for him to enter the home.
“I was baffled,” Marcus told Forbes. “It was so simple. I should have seen this could happen.”
Hardly having to call out to Siri much louder than his regular talking voice, Mike showed Marcus just how easily anyone could waltz right into his home with ease. After submitting a post on his hard-learned lesson to Reddit’s r/technology subreddit, Marcus received a host of backlash from Reddit’s unique community, much of which was aimed at how foolish he was for failing to setup his iPad to be password protected. Thing is, for Marcus, the entire reason he opted for Apple’s HomeKit was to use it as it was advertised — that is, without having to physically put in a passcode each time he wanted to access it.
“I’m using the iPad the way it was marketed,” added Marcus. “It’s not, ‘Hey Siri,’ and then go up and enter a pin.”
To remedy his situation, Marcus decided to uninstall the August Smart Lock he had previously been using. Though he won’t have the ability to unlock the door remotely — say, for instance, when his dog walker shows up at his home during the work day — he also won’t have to worry about any ordinary person strolling into his home uninhibited. Like much of the smart home world, there is still a very long way to go before a fully automated house is fully perfect.