This article was originally published by Seeking Alpha on June 3, 2014
By Sarfaraz A. Khan. Research Asst. Ali Ilahi.
Apple has unveiled the HomeKit feature for the new iOS 8.The company will develop a “common protocol” to talk with the devices. Perhaps Apple is the only company that can do this successfully.
Apple (AAPL) is moving towards home automation in its drive towards "Internet of things". At the Worldwide Developer Conference held on Monday, the company unveiled a new feature for iOS 8, called HomeKit, which will allow Apple's mobile devices, running on iOS 8, to become a remote control for the smart home devices.
iOS 8 is expected to be released in the fall.
Users can also control an entire group of devices from their iPhones or iPads, rather than focusing on just a single device. HomeKit also integrates with Siri. Therefore, by saying "Get ready for bed", the iPhone or iPad will lock the doors and dim the lights.
Apple hasn't given the details about how HomeKit is going to work, except that it will use "common protocol" to communicate with the devices. Currently, there are hundreds of smart device manufacturers out there, each using its own network protocol for talking with its device.
Several small groups and companies, such as ZigBee Alliance, Revolv and SmartThings, have been giving a one-stop solution to communicate with these different smart devices without any major success.