Nearly all smart-home appliances and gadgets can be controlled by smartphone: lights, heat, air conditioning, garage doors, coffee makers, and even traditionally non-electronic items like door locks. Apple’s new iOS 8 will integrate all of these controls into a new platform called HomeKit, the tech giant announced at its Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2, according to Macworld.

The Apple HomeKit will let you group actions for various devices together with a single trigger. Here’s a look at what a day with HomeKit might look like.

1. Set an Alarm

You need to wake up a little earlier tomorrow, so you tell Siri the night before to set an alarm for 6:00 a.m. At 5:30, the heat comes on; at 5:45, the curtains rise, letting in the early morning light. At 5:55, the lights come on dimly, and by the time your morning power music starts at 6:00, you’re pretty much already awake. When you get to the kitchen, your coffee is already brewed and an automatic dispenser has just released food for your dog.

2. Do the Chores

Apple HomeKit knows when you leave for work thanks to a geo-fencing location trigger. Your phone remotely activates a robotic vacuum to clean the house and automatic dispensers to water the plants. You threw in some laundry before you left, but because it isn’t urgent, your iPhone will wait until your smart energy meter indicates that demand is lowest, usually in the middle of the night, to run the load. This saves you money and reduces the peak energy demand, saving precious natural resources.

3. Return from Work

Leaving work triggers the oven at home to preheat and the climate control to gradually return to your ideal settings. As you approach, HomeKit opens the garage door and turns on the porch light if it’s dark outside.

4. Grill on the Deck

It’s a Friday afternoon, and you get home just before some friends are set to arrive. Tell Siri it’s barbecue time: she cranks summer music via Spotify on the deck speakers, lights the grill, and turns up the freezer’s ice maker. Later, you can monitor the baked beans in the oven while sipping beer on the deck.

5. Say, “Goodnight, Siri”

It’s been a long day, and all you want to do is go to bed. Siri will turn off all the lights, lock the doors, close the curtains, and ask you if you want to set an alarm for that basketball game on your calendar for the morning.

This isn’t some Wallace and Gromit, sci-fi future home—all of the devices required to make this scenario a reality already exist. We’ll soon see if the Apple HomeKit can make them all communicate to forever change how humans complete even the simplest of tasks.

Image courtesy of Flickr


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