Apple Opens HomeKit Development

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WWDC 2017 might have been dominated with the announcement of hardware such as the HomePod speaker, but it did host an interesting tidbit involving HomeKit-- the Apple home automation platform is now open for Apple developers.

iOS HomeKitAs Forbes reports, development of HomeKit-compatible devices no longer requires an MFi license. In fact, Apple says one can even develop prototypes using popular developer boards such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, making it easier to start building HomeKit products. That said, the change relates solely to prototyping, and commercial products will still require MFi certification.

Another HomeKit-related announcement regards security. Future smart home devices will not require the integration of an authentication chip, since authentication has been moved to software-based option. Mind authentication still involves the same hardened encryption as it always has.

The update does not turn HomeKit into a smart home platform as open as the Amazon or Google equivalents. However, it does combine some degree of openness with the security and reliability that are Apple's trademark, making it more easy for third party developers to bring HomeKit-compatible devices to market.

Go Apple Frees Up Its Smart Home Platform To Kickstart Development