Apple's Siri: Makes Homes Smarter

By CIOReview | Friday, June 5, 2015
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Apple's first "smart" home gadgets-HomeKit, controlled by Apple's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri, is released in the market. Siri, a part of Apple’s iOS works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. It answers question, makes recommendation, and performs action by delegating requests to a set of Web services.

HomeKit is a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.

HomeKit-certified products comprise of wireless hubs from two companies, Insteon and Lutron Electronics. The hubs, about the size of a small home router or cable TV box, act as the central controller for lights and other gadgets. The hubs in turn can be managed with a smartphone app.

Apple wants products using HomeKit software to meet standards for compatibility, so they work with HomeKit products made by other manufacturers, and for encryption, which would keep hackers at bay.

Similar products from the companies, which have their own smartphone apps to control them, are available in the market. However, a tie-in with Apple means a user can control those apps with Siri, the voice-activated digital assistant on Apple's iPhones and iPads. Users should be linked with an Apple TV box for control from outside the home.

In a similar move, Apple’s competitor, Google, has also come up with software Brillo for internet-connected gadgets. Microsoft and Samsung too are in the league to promote software to control home systems.