Apple TV Is Now Armed And Ready To Be The Hub For The Smart Home
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- September 17th, 2014
Apple Apple is getting close to rolling out its smart home plans in a big way. The company today pushed out a little noticed update to its set-top box, Apple TV, to make it support HomeKit, according to a person with knowledge of the program. HomeKit is Apple’s protocol for allowing connected home gadgets to connect safely and easily in iOS.
The update means that Apple TV could be the hub that unifies the fragmented smart home industry, allowing you to turn on your lights or unlock your door from an iPhone using Apple TV as a bridge device. Apple TV has both Bluetooth low energy and Wi-Fi wireless technologies, both of which Apple has made clear are the primary technologies that connected devices will communicate in the iOS environment. Apple TV is a device that is always on in your home, making it ideal as a hub to communicate with smart devices.
Apple TV likely won’t be the only way to communicate with Apple-certified smart gear. But with 20 million Apple TVs out in the world, it certainly makes sense that this would serve as a centerpiece of Apple’s smart home plans. And many speculate that a more powerful Apple TV is soon on its way.
The person, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with Apple, said the updated software Apple released to Apple TV today is the same update that iOS 8 developers received last week, which included in the release notes that ”HomeKit support is built into the Apple TV firmware now,” he said.
According to this person, anyone with a third generation Apple TV and with the latest 7.0 software update will now likely have HomeKit enabled, whether they know it or not.
Why isn’t this update more apparent in Apple TV right now? ”[There’s] not a lot of reason to promote HomeKit from Apple’s perspective until there’s something that works with it,” the person said.
Apple-certified smart gadgets haven’t been officially rolled out yet. But when HomeKit was first announced at this year’s developer conference in June, there were a number of big-name connected gadget companies listed as official partners, including Honeywell, Philips Philips, August Smart Lock and others.