Apple Open Sources Some of HomeKit

Posted on December 20, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Smart Home with 4 Comments

As part of its partnership in the Connected Home over IP alliance, Apple said that it would open-source some of HomeKit, its smart home developer framework.

“Apple is open-sourcing portions of its HomeKit Accessory Development Kit (ADK),” the Apple announcement notes. “HomeKit and the Home app use innovative privacy technologies and techniques to help minimize the amount of data anyone—including Apple—can access as well as powerful security features that protect personal information. By open-sourcing its HomeKit technology, Apple will be helping to jump-start the initiative and ultimately deliver an even better experience to customers.”

Additionally, Apple said that it would also contribute its HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP) to the working group.

Apple isn’t the only partner making such a contribution to the Connected Home over IP alliance: Google revealed that it was bringing two of its open-source smart home technologies, Weave and Thread, to the partnership as well. But Apple’s involvement at this scale, and with open source, is unusual for a firm that generally tries to go it alone.

Apple says that developers can already use the HomeKit Open Source ADK to prototype non-commercial smart home accessories. And existing HomeKit accessories will continue to work after the new protocol becomes available since Apple plans to continue to support HAP for communication with smart home accessories in its ecosystem.

I’m still waiting to hear what, if anything, Amazon is contributing. It’s possible that just their inclusion as the market leader is more than enough.

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