What Is HomeKit


What is HomeKit

HomeKit is an initiative that was introduced by Apple and works across the iOS and macOS ecosystem. It is designed as an "integration layer" between all existing and new Smart Home technologies.

One problem with a typical Smart Home is that if you want the best system for each task - be it lighting, heating, security, energy monitoring or media control - you'll often end up with several different systems that can't communicate with each other.

You'll also likely have several different Apps or web User Interfaces (UIs) for remote control purposes, which means frequently chopping and changing between Apps or web browser tabs. It can become hard to keep track of what device is controlled by what App - especially for the less technical user!

Apple HomeKit has the rather lofty goal of bringing all these disparate systems together by enabling their Apps to interconnect, allowing your devices to work together and make them controllable in more ways, straight from your iPhone, iPad or MAC PC.

Over 100 worldwide brands have committed to providing devices that are compatibile with HomeKit so the range is expanding every day. Crucially every device that wishes to utilise the HomeKit framework has to be submitted to and reviewed by Apple themselves before it can be approved, which ensures an excellent out-of-the-box experience. In particular Apple offers the most simple setup process for HomeKit devices - simply bring your Apple phone or tablet in close proximity to the device if it offers NFC capabilities or simply scan the HomeKit setup code with on the device itself or in its instructions. It will be instantly paired and configured.

With the Home App, or with any other Home compatibile App (such as Eve or HomeDash), you can easily and securely control all your HomeKit devices from all your Apple devices, even when you are away from home. Recent improvements to the system such as HomeKit enabled Internet Routers mean that it's now even more secure.

AirPlay 2 enabled devices such as TVs and music players can also be added to the Home App, allowing them to be integrated into your wider Smart Home logic. HomeKit Secure Video is another advanced feature, allowing supported cameras to forward activity footage for analysis to determine if people, pets or cars are present. All of this happens locally within your home with no reliance on Cloud services, other than for securely storing the recorded video itself in your iCloud account.

Scene capabilities will allow you to set devices across all manner of technologies all with a single command - your "Leaving Home" Scene could turn off your Philips Hue lighting, lower the temperature on your Nest Thermostat, lock your Yale door locks and arm your Z-Wave security system.

HomeKit also integrates the Apple voice recognition / synthesis technology known as Siri, allowing you to use natural language to control your Smart Home. Tell Siri "Turn on the upstairs lights", "Set home temperature to 21°C" or even a simple "Good night" and she will interpret your commands perfectly.

The final piece of the puzzle that HomeKit provides is the ability to use cross-technology logic - so different products can trigger each other based on additional conditions. For example "set the bathroom radiator to 22°C at 06:00 but only when you're at home and only if your alarm is set for 06:30".

It should be noted however that any logic functionality or remote access control are dependant on an "always on" Apple device such as a HomePod, Apple TV or iPad being permanently present in your home.

HomeKit promises to be an exciting addition to our Smart Homes and we can't wait to see it reach its full potential over the coming years!

Now that you know all about HomeKit and Siri, make sure to read our Smart Home - Controllers and Why you Need Need One guide!

Connecting HomeKit devices

Philips Hue

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3


On the Menu click on "Siri Voice Control" followed by "Pair bridge"

Scan the code on the back of your Hue Bridge

Check your Hue devices


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3


Launch the Elgato Eve App and select the accessory to be added

Click on "Sample HomeKit Setup Code"

Enter the 8 digit accessory code found on the device

Fibaro via Homebridge Plugin

Step 1

Step 2


Follow the steps here to install and configure the Fibaro Homebridge Plugin

See the list of devices discovered

Note: Some steps removed