As technology advances, you start to see new and exciting things which some of you would have never dreamed of. Amongst these bewildering technology ideas, “smart” home is a concept that has been around for quite some time now and has been taking a leap recently. Most homes today aren’t built to be smart, so if we want to turn a house into a modern TechnoHome, HomeKit is an ideal smart home platform to go with it.
HomeKit is Apple’s Home automation platform for controlling smart home products with iOS apps and Siri voice commands. It empowers the users to turn their house or apartment into a “smart home”. HomeKit basically helps to connect smart accessories and their apps allowing them to communicate more easily. HomeKit enables the users to connect and manage the accessories in the home ranging from lighting control to central heating even washing machine irrespective of the device manufacturer. It serves as a software framework that lets users set up their iPhone to configure, communicate and control smart-home appliances. By designing rooms, items and actions in the HomeKit service, users can automate actions in the house through a simple voice dictation to Siri or through mobile apps.
HomeKit integrates iOS devices with home automation accessories using a device-independent protocol. It enables iOS app to integrate and control accessories bought from multiple vendors, presenting a coherent & user-focused interface.
Apple provides a simulator that let you build your own accessory as an interface connecting with your home appliances. In order to get the Hardware IO Tools for Xcode, you’ll have to navigate to Apple’s download center.
After downloading the Hardware IO tools you can move the HomeKit Accessory Simulator to your iOS application folder.
When launching the simulator you’ll need to add a new accessory. Instead of your app interfacing directly with the accessory, this communication flows through a bridge.
You can use pre-defined characteristics of a service type. For example, if we choose Add Characteristic you would see a list of such
In the given code you can add a new home called “My home.” Once we’ve successfully created a home you add a room called ‘My room.” When the home and room is complete, you need to set the home as your primary home.
Here you drill down into the services provided by the accessory you added. For eg. You can load the light bulb service into a data array by implementing following code.
In order to monitor state changes for your device you’ll need to enable notification on the characteristic you want to monitor. The delegate HMAccessoryDelegate will handle passing on this message.
Finally, when you select home service you need to send data to the device and toggle its state by writing data to the characteristic using below code.
HomeKit is a software framework that enables developers to integrate internet-connected home devices with iOS applications. It gives you the control to some of the most prominent smart-home devices, including lights, switches, door locks, thermostats and more. HomeKit devices link up to each other with relatively less effort and can be controlled by means of an iOS application as well as with your voice through Apple’s virtual assistant. HomeKit brings tech connectivity to a whole new level and signifies huge benefits for customers like increased home security to a greater energy efficiency and tech-guided gardening, impacting the daily life of a common man in a positive way.