HomeKit documented officially by Apple, as Apple TV confirmed as gateway device

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A new Apple support document for HomeKit has now officially confirmed our earlier report that the Apple TV would serve as a hub for HomeKit devices. The document confirms an Apple TV is needed if you want to control HomeKit accessories while away from home.

If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you’re away from home using your iOS device.

Sign in with the same Apple ID on your iOS device and Apple TV, and you’ll be able to use Siri commands to remotely control your accessories.

Apple has also created a page listing the HomeKit devices launched so far, and which we’d expect to be regularly updated as new products are announced …  Read more

Here comes Apple’s HomeKit, first products start shipping starting w/ Insteon, Lutron, iHome, Elgato and Ecobee

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Insteon, Lutron, iHome, Elgato and Ecobee have all just announced that their HomeKit products are now officially available and/or shipping to customers.

The announcements come on the heels of our report that Apple partners planned this week to launch the first products using the company’s new Siri-controlled HomeKit home automation platform, first introduced alongside iOS 8 last year.  Read more

Elgato’s smart home devices now available for pre-order as HomeKit officially starts shipping

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Elgato has announced pricing for its range of HomeKit-compatible smart home devices, and made them available for pre-order. Sources told us last week that the first HomeKit devices would go on sale this week, but with no indication of delivery times, Elgato doesn’t appear to be one of the roughly five companies expected to begin shipping later today.

Elgato first announced last September that it would be making HomeKit devices, and has now revealed pricing on four products, ranging from door/window sensors for $39.95 to a room sensor – measuring temperature, humidity and air quality – for $79.95 …  Read more

Google introduces competitors to Apple Pay, Photos, HomeKit + new iOS apps at I/O

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Google just wrapped up the opening keynote for its I/O developer conference taking place this week, and not surprisingly many of the announced products and services are direct competitors to Apple’s. Android Pay gets an official coming out party to compete with Apple Pay, Project Brillo is Google’s answer to HomeKit, and the new Android M gets a focus on quality, much like what Apple has in store for iOS 9 at WWDC in June. The company also announced a new Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing and iOS support, as well as a number of other iOS app announcements.

Head below for a roundup of everything Google announced today from 9to5Google: Read more

Apple’s planned iOS 9 ‘Home’ app uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories

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Apple’s plan to manage upcoming HomeKit-compatible accessories could revolve around a new iOS app called “Home,” according to sources familiar with the app. Introduced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, HomeKit is an Apple initiative designed to encourage accessory makers to integrate “connected home” accessories such as Wi-Fi garage door openers, smart thermostats akin to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, and wireless door locks with iPhones and iPads. Using Siri or the Home app, users will be able to remotely control parts of their homes directly from iOS devices…

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Broadcom’s SDK is first to support HomeKit for WiFi & Bluetooth accessories, hardware bridges for non-HomeKit products

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Broadcom today announced that its new SDK for the Internet of Things (IoT) now officially supports Apple’s home automation HomeKit platform, bringing us a step closer to widespread availability of Siri-controlled smart home devices.

Broadcom notes that its SDK is the first to officially support HomeKit specs for WiFi and Bluetooth Smart accessories, allowing developers to use its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) platform to build apps for Apple’s new Siri-controlled, home automation platform. They will also be able to build products that double as a hardware bridge for non-HomeKit accessories.  Read more

GE announces Siri-controlled, color-changing LED lighting with support for HomeKit

GE announced today that it’s introducing HomeKit enabled LED lighting products offering Siri-controlled solutions for both the home and enterprise. With support for Apple’s new HomeKit framework, users will be able to control the lights from their iOS device using Siri.

The company noted that the new line of GE HomeKit lighting will also include its GE Align technology that “tunes the light spectrum to help promote the body’s natural sleep cycle by controlling the blue concentration of light output.” Read more

Marvell offers complete Apple HomeKit chipset and SDK to accessory makers

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Chipmaker Marvell announced today that it has become “the industry’s first silicon vendor to develop a fully supported SDK” for Apple’s new HomeKit home automation platform, supplying a full hardware and software platform to accessory manufacturers. As part of the support, Marvell has an SDK for HomeKit that includes a “88MC200 microcontroller, advanced Avastar 88W8801 Wi-Fi SoC and EZ-Connect software.”

We previously reported that chipmakers had started providing small quantities of wireless chips to some companies for HomeKit products, but this is the first time a silicon vendor has announced a complete HomeKit software and hardware solution for developers: Read more

Apple details HomeKit compatibility with competing home automation platforms, rules out rival Wi-Fi gear

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Apple will allow its upcoming Siri-controlled HomeKit platform to work with certain existing, non-HomeKit home automation products, including ones using competing protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave, but there are many limitations. According to sources briefed on the new specs, the latest Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program specifications detail the types of home automation products other than HomeKit that Apple will permit to interact with its platform.

During the 2014 WWDC, Apple briefly mentioned the possibility of connecting rival home automation products to HomeKit using a hardware “bridge,” but only in recent weeks has clarified the types of accessories that will and will not be allowed. Read more