Apple opens the HomeKit protocol for developers and announces news

iPad e Apple TV como central da casa (HomeKit)

Of course, the main keynote is three days old, but the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 it is still in full swing there in San Jose (California) – and best of all, the infamous developer sessions continue to bring really interesting news to the technological world in general. Proof of this is a change in the development policy of the HomeKit, Apple’s home automation protocol, announced just yesterday.

The specification for the HomeKit protocol is now open to all developers! It is possible to build a smart device using Arduino and control it through HomeKit without obtaining an MFi license.

And here’s the spec for anyone with an Apple Developer account:

From now on, Apple will no longer require an MFi certificate (Made For iPod / iPad / iPhone) to developers who want to test and produce solutions integrated with HomeKit. This way, if you have some knowledge of programming and home automation, you can do your own experiments with an Arduino chip and an appliance of your choice (or several!), Controlling everything through the Casa app (Home). The possibilities are basically limitless!

Of course, there is a detail: the unrestricted license to develop HomeKit is exclusively non-commercial; that is, if you create something absolutely phenomenal and intend to sell your invention, then, yes, you will have to apply for registration in the MFi program with Apple (which is linked to the payment of a fee for product sold).

What’s more, until today, products produced by developers and companies enrolled in the program had to come with an internal certification chip to work; this certification can now also be done by software – which is good news not only for independent developers, but also for manufacturers, who no longer need to make space within their (increasingly smaller) products to include a piece authenticating hardware.

With the release, Apple’s intention is clear: by allowing everyone to develop on the platform, the number of good ideas and increasingly advanced solutions grows exponentially and, over time, the company itself may be able to boast of having the largest and most most complete home automation platform in the world. Whether these words will translate into reality, no one knows, but undeniably this is a very promising step in that direction.

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Still talking about the news announced this morning at the WWDC developer session on HomeKit, other changes and new features for the protocol were introduced, starting with two new product categories supported by the protocol: taps and sprinklers (those water dispersing devices used both on the roof, to contain fires, and on lawns, to water vegetation).

With additions you can, for example, water your garden or prepare a comfortable bath in your bathtub directly from your iPhone, iPad or (in the future) from HomePod. As I don’t have a garden, bathtub or HomePod, I will continue in exactly the same way.

With the two new categories, 16 types of products are now supported by HomeKit: garage doors, thermostats, sensors, curtains and blinds, security devices, humidifiers, air conditioners, padlocks, air purifiers, lamps, sockets , fans, cameras, bells and now taps and sprinklers.

But it doesn’t stop there: in addition to the additions, other new features are coming to the platform with iOS 11, such as the possibility of pairing devices by QR or NFC codes, in addition to the aforementioned software certification. New event triggers will also be available, as well as improved latency for devices that communicate with the hub via Bluetooth.

Yes, my friends, the platform is maturing at a fast pace!

via Apple World Today, 9to5Mac