Any plans for HomeKit integration?


#1

Apple today announced HomeKit: https://developer.apple.com/homekit/

I’m wondering if there are any plans to integrate this into the Spark Firmware?


HomeKit update, non-commercial version - SRP
#2

Interesting. There’s not much information on how it works and the :spark: team has limited bandwidth for now with other high priorities on hand.

If you have more information, do post back! I can chip in some help and @wgbatley and @bko might be able to shed more light! :smiley:


#3

i can’t see it taking off anyway, its pretty much an arduino-ripoff that only works on macs.


#4

@sej7278, it doesn’t look like an Arduino rip off at all. The devices will still need to be programmed the same way we do now. Here’s a better way of explaining what HomeKit will do:

Along with several other new APIs for developers, Apple has announced HomeKit which allows all home automation accessories/devices to work together. The new API will allow home automation developers to centralize all home automation in iOS without needing separate apps to access each device’s specific features. These devices include locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more.

HomeKit allows for secure pairing with devices and the ability to control individual devices. It also makes it possible to group several home automation devices into scenes that allow for easier control of any automation device in specific situations. One of the coolest features available with HomeKit is the ability to control any home automation accessory with Siri based on certain commands or scenes previously configured with these devices.

From 9to5Mac


#5

I tried to register for hardware developer but the website doesn’t load up. Shall wait :slight_smile:


#6

I’ve registered too. I really hope they actually release the API.
4 years ago at the WWDC they said FaceTime was going to be an open protocol. Yeeeah, still waiting on that…


#7

I’m going to look into it further and experiment. Still, need to wait until the WWDC videos are up to get a good sense of how exactly it works and what its best for. The API seems very Bluetooth BLE like, so will need to see how it works in with WIFI.

I’m happy to open source anything simple I get working. Keep in mind there a non-disclosures in place protecting a lot of the details for being made public.


#8

I would love to make it so that the Spark Core can be a dev tool for anyone who wants to build a HomeKit-compatible product. I have a feeling that HomeKit will require BLE for setup, so HomeKit products will be Wi-Fi plus BLE. Becomes an interesting factor to consider for the Spark Core II… :slight_smile:


#9

As all-powerful and all-wonderful as BLE is, I really hope they don’t choose that for a home-wide deployment. Unless they have some fancy meshing going on (which would probably require device manufacturers to beef up all their products–unlikely), I just don’t see how it could work to turn on my basement lights from my upstairs bedroom. Wi-fi definitely makes more sense here.


#10

I have several of BLE devices paired to my iOS device. The range in the house is 25-40 feet, but disconnects and reconnects are painful and error prone. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to delete the connection and re-pair them.

The technology is a good idea–the implementation today is lacking.


#11

Spark Core + HomeKit will be Awesome!. Spark Core II also :smile:


#12

Accorting to http://www.slashgear.com/heres-how-apple-ios-8-homekit-works-04332145/ homekit will work over Wifi too. So all we need is a Firmware Update. Too bad that the software spec is not open. I request SpakCore team to request the Spec from Apple. Eagerly looking forward for HomeKit integration in SparkCore.


#14

Apple may not release the Doc and Spec before the iOS 8 is out, but may be share with some limited companies to get the Apps ad Devices ready when it is about to launch.


#17

Anyone want to attempt to do reverse-engineering?

The Home Kit Framework


#18

Here’s a post I made in an private thread last week. Needless to say, I’m working on it!

Last week was the annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), where every year Apple transforms into the visage of a sweaty Steve Ballmer, excitedly chanting, “Developers! Developers! Developers!”

In recent years, WWDC has become increasingly focussed on the iPhone and core improvements to iOS. However, this year was different. This year Apple really paid attention to things the developer community had been asking for for years! They released an entirely new programming language completely out of the blue (apparently it’s been internally in the works for over 4 years, with the creator and lead developer being the man behind LLVM and CLANG). They released a ton of new APIs. They released Metal, which will allow lower level access to the GPU on A7 devices. They released HealthKit which is designed to centralize data collection for health, medical and fitness apps. There’s a bunch more stuff, but this isn’t an Apple forum, so I won’t bore you.

So, where does Home Automation come into all this and how is it related to the Spark Core, I hear you asking yourself. Good question!

Among the various things released at WWDC was also a little something called HomeKit, which is designed as a central hub for controlling various home automation devices, even if they’re of different standards. This is huge. Home Automation has been around in consumer form since at least the 1970s, when X10 was first released. Since then, there have been an absurd number of completely incompatible standards come and go, which is still true today.

The big “problem” with Home Automation systems is you’re almost always locked into a single vendor (See: Crestron), which is why prices are sometimes ludicrously expensive. Yes, there are open standards out there, but they haven’t taken nearly as much of a foothold as many of us would like to see, mainly due to it being in a vendor’s best interest to keep you locked into their technology.

So after having a look at some of the developer documentation about HomeKit, it seems that Apple is trying to create a centralized interface that will allow many different vendors and standards to hook into, giving the consumer a “Universal Home Automation Interface” if you will.

A lot of people already use things like the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi as a central (often web based) interface, where they can programmatically bridge multiple closed products together. This is essentially that, but for the average Joe.

Now, the DIY Automation community is starting to get bigger and bigger, we have tons of Makers out there that want to automate things in their house and on their property. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me at Maker Faire asking if the Core would be good for their project. Stuff like opening and closing blinds, monitoring their gardens, turning outdoor path lighting on, controlling HVAC floor registers, building thermostats, locking their front doors… The list goes on and on.

The Spark Core is inexpensive, easy to use, flexible and powerful. I really think looking more into things like HomeKit, producing more Home Automation libraries and doing a lot more projects/tutorials along the same lines (and then a marketing push towards it all) would go a long way towards making us into the de facto platform for IoT Based Home Automation.

Has anyone else put much thought into this sort of thing?

This is—I suspect—Apple doing what Apple does best: Taking stuff that already exists, making it easy to use and pretty, then selling the hell out of it.

Having a library for the Spark Core that would allow it to hook into HomeKit could be crazy cool and something I’ve been looking into since WWDC.


#22

Indeed, how would this work though. Apple didn’t show off any specific apps, so I’m assuming that it is just a framework that allows many devices to be controlled by an app of the users choosing.

I’m imagining a very connected home soon(ish)…


#23

The link I posted is to the (future?) Objective C framework for developing apps for use with HomeKit. From what I can tell, manufacturers are going to have to jump through hoops to get into the HomeKit program. They essentially have to have their product Apple certified, which is a huge barrier to entry. :frowning:


#24

From what I hear through the grapevine, certification for HomeKit will be a lot different than previous things coming into the MFi program.

There will also be the ability for third party software to control certified hardware through HomeKit without requiring certification.


#25

There’s the rub. The Spark Core is hardware, but I’m not sure how open Apple would be to certifying it. If someone could get an Arduino certified, maybe other platforms could follow.


#26

The idea is this would be for control of the “Spark Cloud” and not hardware, per say. Another way would be just for the Spark Core iPhone app to hook into the HomeKit APIs (I’m not sure what the rules are on this yet, I’m trying to get specific clarification from a friend.)