HomeKit, first announced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, is a software platform that allows iOS devices to communicate and control home automation accessories in the user’s home. While locking doors and controlling lights in your home via your phone sounds exciting, the project has been moving at a slow pace since it was announced. That slow pace may be picking up soon.
Semiconductor company, Broadcom, announced yesterday in a press release that the new software development kit (SDK) for their WICED (Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices) platform was certified by Apple for full HomeKit support. The WICED platform allows developers to create secure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections in a variety of different applications – from digital cameras and printers to, yes, home automation equipment. Using the WICED platform, equipment manufacturers can efficiently create smart gadgets for the home that communicate seamlessly with iOS devices.
The company also announced that the WICED platform can be used as a hardware “bridge” for home automation accessories that are not currently HomeKit compliant. According to the press release, the platform “can also connect endpoints through a process known as bridging that delivers the benefits of HomeKit through a hardware module.” A Bluetooth-enabled light bulb, for example, can connect to a WICED-enabled “smart plug” allowing the bulb to be controlled via the user’s iOS devices.
This announcement comes shortly after Marvell, a well-established chipset creator, announced a HomeKit supported SDK; and after technology giant GE announced HomeKit compliant LED bulbs. There is also plenty of speculation that the new Apple TV will fully support HomeKit, and will act as a hub that allows users to issue Siri commands while away from home. While the new Apple TV will more than likely be the focus of the WWDC this year, we may hear a bit about the future of HomeKit as well.