First it was CarPlay - now Apple is eyeing your home. At WWDC today, Apple announced a new software that'll let you control various home appliances all from your iPhone or iPad.
HomeKit is a new common network protocol that lets users control their home appliances and other connected services from their iDevice. In other words, don't look for a Nest-like device from Apple any time soon; this is a software play that helps users bunch various home-based applications together and control them a mobile device.
What's more, it creates a standard protocol from which Apple and its partners can build a home automation ecosystem.
"There are great apps and devices on the market, but we thought we could bring some rationality to this," Apple SVP Craig Federighi said.
Apple is also launching a HomeKit certification program to ensure devices are compatible with its features. August, Philips, Haier and Honeywell were among the companies Apple said it's working with on the home automation initiative.
What HomeKit can do for you
Apple highlighted several features and security measures that prevent your home from falling under the control of anyone with an iPhone walking down the street.
Secure pairing insures that only your iPhone can control things like your garage door or kitchen light bulbs. HomeKit users can control individual appliances or functions in their home, or control a group of devices in various "scenes."
Tell your iPhone via Siri, "It's time to get ready for bed," and all devices in the nighttime scene will prep for Mr. Sandman; your garage door will lock, lights in various parts of the house will turn off, etc.
Siri seems to be a key player in the HomeKit universe, but how she and HomeKit stack up to solutions already on the market will make for some compelling living-room viewing.