Apple has now finalized and published specifications for HomeKit through its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program. The finalized specifications, which allow accessory makers to start building products that integrate iOS 8’s new framework for home automation devices, come ahead of Apple’s yearly MFi summit in November where it plans to brief manufacturing partners on HomeKit and other new iOS 8 features for accessories.
There have already been a couple products announced with HomeKit integration, most of which are all from larger accessory makers and Apple’s early launch partners. The finalized spec for HomeKit, which was previously in beta mode, has only been available to all manufacturers through the MFi program since last week. Apple requires that companies building HomeKit-enabled hardware be part of the MFi licensing program and follow the guidelines in the newly published specs.
In the final spec, Apple includes specifications for pairing, security and talking to Bluetooth LE and WiFi-connected HomeKit accessories. The HomeKit Accessory Protocol currently includes accessory profiles for controlling a specific set of home automation products including fans, garage doors, lightbulbs, locks, power outlets, binary switches, and thermostats.
First unveiled alongside iOS 8, HomeKit provides accessory makers and app developers in the home automation space a common protocol for pairing, security, and controlling multiple devices through Siri. We reported back in May that Apple was experimenting with building its own HomeKit related hardware with a new team working specifically on products for the home.
With the finalized spec and Apple’s upcoming MFi summit in China, you can expect to see a lot of HomeKit-enabled MFi products hit the market soon.
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