Today marks the beginning of 2017 WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference. Typically this is where apple releases and introduces software related updates to their product line and infrastructure. This year feels a bit different though. With vast competition coming into the market from smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, virtual assistants popping up all over the place, and a huge push for product integration, it no longer feels like Apple is the leader in the Smart-Home market place. Due to this many rumors have been swirling around that apple may, as early as today during their Key Note, introduce their very own smart-speaker. Whether that materializes or not will be show cased only hours away. A few things are almost certain though and they are updates to their current HomeKit integration, Siri, and integrations with new smart products. My assumption is that we will see a handful of new products that will integrate with HomeKit showcased today on stage. Below is my quick wishlist for HomeKit as it pertains to smart home tech.
- Rich and more customizable alerts and notifications. Example: Maybe I don’t want an alert every time my smart door locks but I do want to know overtime it unlocks. Right now the alerts are all or nothing.
- More comprehensive sensor automation. Example: Right now (without using Elgato’s Application) I can’t utilize humidity or temperature to control anything from their Eve Room Product. It would be nice if that would be baked into the Home app.
- Multi-step, exceptions, and timers automation. Example: Similar to IFTTT I would like to be able to take multiple steps and rules to automate my home through HomeKit. “If my front door unlocks, and the light in the bedroom is on, then turn on my Foyer like but only for 30 seconds and only Monday through Friday. This would allow us to create automations that will accommodate multiple people living in one house.
- Recognition as to who is home. Example: If I am arriving home and my wife is already home do nothing in the interior of the house. My wife hates it when I leave and all the lights go off, or when I come home and certain lights come on.
- Zones Baked into the Home app. Example: Right now zones (i.e down-stairs) have to be created in third party applications. It would be nice to be able to assign not just rooms in the Apple Home app.
- Better HomeKit Integration for Apple TV. Explanation:I know I’m crossing over the line a bit in terms of Homekit and OS, but it would be nice to be able to get non-intrusive notifications on the Apple TV. Example: when packages get delivered, motion on Ring Pro or Arlo camera, temp goes over a max/min level you set. As well as be able to control better from the Apple TV itself. Perhaps a “Home” app for the Apple TV.
- Home Beacon. Explanation: I have two Apple TV 4 gens in the house. One on each floor. It would be great if they could be aware of which floor I am on with my phone, or perhaps where on that floor I am. This date could be used to help automate. Example – If after 10pm I am upstairs with my phone plugged in and charging turn off all the lights downstairs and turn on front porch light.
- Integrations with Native Apple Apps. Explanation: Apple already has a great deal of applications that provide great data that could be incorporated into HomeKit. Example: Applications like Weather could trigger lights to be set to cool temperatures to aid in higher productivity when its rainy outside. Or the Stocks application could trigger a blinking light when that stock price you have been watching has fallen below a level you set. Reminders when you are home could flash the lights at you when you need to make a phone call. You get the idea.
I don’t know about you but I am very excited about the possibilities of enhanced HomeKit and Siri that may be introduced today. I’ll be tuning in to it at 1pm ET today and I will follow up with another post about what exciting features that Apple announces pertaining to Smart-Home for us Average Joe’s. Check back and happy WWDC17.