HomeKit-Enabled Chips Begin Shipping to Smart Home Device Makers

HomeKit-iconAt its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple announced HomeKit, a platform designed to allow smart home devices to seamlessly integrate with iOS devices via Bluetooth and Wi-FI. As part of the certification process for Apple HomeKit, manufacturers must purchase their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips from Apple-approved chipmakers like Marvell, Texas Instruments and Broadcom. Those Apple-approved chips have begun shipping to smart home accessory makers, according to Forbes.

These chipmakers have begun shipping their chips loaded with HomeKit firmware to device manufacturers, Broadcom and Texas Instruments have confirmed to me. That means we could begin seeing HomeKit-certified devices show up on store shelves sometime soon. Although Apple hasn’t officially launched HomeKit yet, device makers can at least start putting together their gadgets now that they have the wireless chip armed with the HomeKit firmware.

Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom's senior director of embedded wireless, tells Forbes that smart home device makers are "getting ready" and that users should "expect to see new product launches in the next cycle of product releases." Bedrosian does caution that the firmware on the chips hasn't been finalized by Apple yet, and is essentially just a beta version of HomeKit. Broadcom and other chipmakers will be able to update the firmware remotely as HomeKit's feature set continues to be developed.

According to Bedrosian, the smart home device market has been fragmented thus far, but HomeKit provides a reliable way to bridge protocols and create simple connections between various devices using iCloud.

We've already seen several products that will take advantage of HomeKit, including a smart USB charger, a line of connected home sensors from Elgato, and the August Smart Lock, but Apple's HomeKit supports a wide range of products like lightbulbs, locks, fans, thermostats, power outlets, garage doors, and more. Apple has also announced several partners already, including Philips and Honeywell, and has finalized hardware specifications, bringing us one step closer to the launch of HomeKit.

Apple has plans to hold a Made for iPhone (MFi) summit November 12 through November 14, providing accessory manufacturers and developers with information on HomeKit, iBeacon, AirPlay, and more, and with chips shipping to manufacturers, we should be seeing additional hardware products with HomeKit support surfacing in the near future.

Top Rated Comments

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73 months ago

i've always wanted to turn off my lights by taking out my phone, unlocking it, searching for the app, and turn it off...as opposed to flipping the switch.


lol.. why don't you read into what home kit is.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
73 months ago

I would love to be able to control all of my electronics in my house from my iPhone / apple watch. It's starting to become a reality.

Alarm, surveillance cameras, tv, music, ATV, door lock, garage door, lights

In a perfect world, I agree with you. But iOS 8 can't even switch screen orientation correctly half the time for me. I'm not sure I want my phone in charge of my locks on my doors.

I can see it now:

This update is recommended for all users.

- Fixes a bug that would inadvertently open garage doors remotely for some users without warning.
- Addresses an issue with locking some users out of 2016 Ford cars
[...]
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
73 months ago
Old Devices

So what about the $300 worth of Hue bulbs I already own? Will those be supported by Homekit? Will there be firmware updates or will they need to have the special "chip" built into them?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
73 months ago
i've always wanted to turn off my lights by taking out my phone, unlocking it, searching for the app, and turn it off...as opposed to flipping the switch.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
73 months ago

i've always wanted to turn off my lights by taking out my phone, unlocking it, searching for the app, and turn it off...as opposed to flipping the switch.

Or you could set up a profile and as soon as the device detects you (or knows your coming from your GPS coordinates), the house devices tells your partner your coming, lights up whatever at the right level, the right color, adjust the heating puts the TV on to Game of Throne, makes popcorn and coffee, sets the correct music, opens your door and yes, sets the popcorn and coffee in front of the TV and pets your dog (required robot is not included for those last tasks) ;-).

You don't open any app, you are the trigger. If letting anyone with your phone into your house freaks you, you can probably set up touch ID for extra security.

You have a lack of imagination....
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
73 months ago

You guys rely too much on electronic devices. A simple thing like EMP would make you totally helpless.


Since it would either be from a massive cosmic event or a nuclear war, EMP is the least of our worries.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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