Apple surreptitiously adds HomeKit support to recent Apple TVs - report

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 46
    Of the devices that Apple has for the home, the $99 AppleTV seems the ideal device for a powerful, inexpensive and secure HomeKit controller/server.
    The AppleTV could make a good hub, but quite honestly an AirPort is a better gateway. The challenge for me is that I use Insteon which still needs a powerline modem with 900MHz wireless. I doubt that it makes sense for Apple to integrate that functionality into their products; not sure if even ZigBee would make sense.
  • Reply 22 of 46
    tuckerjj wrote: »
    I don't get it. What does an Apple TV bring to the table when you can already control homekit devices with Siri on your iPhone and iPad, and soon ? Watch, both in and out of the home?

    You are approaching your home, and use your iPhone to send control codes to:
    1. open the garage door
    2. turn on the garage light
    3. unlock the door between the garage and the house

    Scenario 1 You do this with your iPhone how? (so far undefined by Apple). Lets say you send a cell or WiFi packet, in the clear, for each command to each accessory. The commands must be sent in the clear because your cell radio or WiFi router do not know about or understand HomeKit or its accessories.

    So a neighbor (or stalker) with a sniffer can record the radio traffic and observe the activities -- might as well leave the house key under the doormat.

    Scenario 2 You setup your AppleTV to be your HomeKit controller/server:
    1. the AppleTV communicates with the accessories (wired or short-range wireless) -- not sniffable
    2. the iPhone (acting as a HomeKit remote controller) communicates with the AppleTV over cell or
      WiFi
    3. the iPhone and AppleTV exchange algorithmically-generated tokens * that tell the AppleTV what to do
    4. the AppleTV decodes these tokens and communicates with the accessories as in 1), above

    * the algorithms can be such that a different token is generated each time to perform the same action -- rendering an intercepted token useless.
  • Reply 23 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

     



    So what needs to change on it?  I don't think a $99 device is going to support 4k this year, and that's about all the hardware is lacking at this point.

     

    Now, a new Mac mini - THAT's overdue.




    As I recall, the ATV3 is running a single core A5 and does 1k definition just fine. Throw in a dual core A7 and I'll bet you can get 4k output with room to spare.

  • Reply 24 of 46
    aaarrrgggh wrote: »
    Of the devices that Apple has for the home, the $99 AppleTV seems the ideal device for a powerful, inexpensive and secure HomeKit controller/server.
    The AppleTV could make a good hub, but quite honestly an AirPort is a better gateway. The challenge for me is that I use Insteon which still needs a powerline modem with 900MHz wireless. I doubt that it makes sense for Apple to integrate that functionality into their products; not sure if even ZigBee would make sense.

    Why do you think that the Airport (or any router) is better?
    • It has limited storage,
    • it is relatively non-programmable (except for router functions)
    • it is more expensive
    • it is less flexible (a dumb device vs a smart device)
    • it requires both the Internet and WiFi to be active to work *

    * The AppleTV could be used with its IR controller (or an iPhone or AppleWatch with IR) to control HomeKit devices. In addition, an iPhone (or an AppleWatch) could use its WiFi to communicate directly with the AppleTV (bypassing the router)
  • Reply 25 of 46
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TuckerJJ View Post



    I don't get it. What does an Apple TV bring to the table when you can already control homekit devices with Siri on your iPhone and iPad, and soon ? Watch, both in and out of the home?



    I think it's the fact that Apple TV might serve as more of a hub. The hub and its protocol is the thing missing from all other iOS devices and the thing required to marry all the existing standards together like thermostats and LED bulbs. I suppose you could add that to iOS devices but it might require additional 

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    You are approaching your home, and use your iPhone to send control codes to:

    1. open the garage door

    2. turn on the garage light

    3. unlock the door between the garage and the house


    Scenario 1 You do this with your iPhone how? (so far undefined by Apple). Lets say you send a cell or WiFi packet, in the clear, for each command to each accessory. The commands must be sent in the clear because your cell radio or WiFi router do not know about or understand HomeKit or its accessories.



    So a neighbor (or stalker) with a sniffer can record the radio traffic and observe the activities -- might as well leave the house key under the doormat.



    Scenario 2 You setup your AppleTV to be your HomeKit controller/server:

    1. the AppleTV communicates with the accessories (wired or short-range wireless) -- not sniffable

    2. the iPhone (acting as a HomeKit remote controller) communicates with the AppleTV over cell or

      WiFi

    3. the iPhone and AppleTV exchange algorithmically-generated tokens * that tell the AppleTV what to do

    4. the AppleTV decodes these tokens and communicates with the accessories as in 1), above


    * the algorithms can be such that a different token is generated each time to perform the same action -- rendering an intercepted token useless.



    I don't think you're answering the question by adding security to the equation. Sure that will be part of Apple's solution but what can the current Apple TV do that an iOS device cannot? The article states that a HomeKit app update is sufficient but how is that communicating with all the different home devices? Don't you need an additional hub or hardware upgrade to Apple TV to make any of your examples work? And if you don't, why can't you do the same thing with an iPhone?

  • Reply 26 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post





    The AppleTV could make a good hub, but quite honestly an AirPort is a better gateway. The challenge for me is that I use Insteon which still needs a powerline modem with 900MHz wireless. I doubt that it makes sense for Apple to integrate that functionality into their products; not sure if even ZigBee would make sense.



    I also have Insteon (use an ISY 994i) and am hoping there's a solution that allows integration with HomeKit. I'm sure it will come (perhaps via apps like MobiLinc).

  • Reply 27 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

     



    So what needs to change on it?  I don't think a $99 device is going to support 4k this year, and that's about all the hardware is lacking at this point.

     

    Now, a new Mac mini - THAT's overdue.




    a larger memory cache maybe?

     

    tho I'd really like for the appleTV (and iTunes) to understand ALL video formats (containers) ... not just mov/mp4

  • Reply 28 of 46
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,223member
    darkvader wrote: »
    What kind of lunatic raises the temperature when they go to bed?

    Yeah, I want to sweat all night.  Sounds lovely.  Not.

    Now, lowering the temp when I go to bed, that's more like it.

    Maybe they sleep naked...
  • Reply 29 of 46
    wigby wrote: »
    tuckerjj wrote: »
    I don't get it. What does an Apple TV bring to the table when you can already control homekit devices with Siri on your iPhone and iPad, and soon ? Watch, both in and out of the home?


    I think it's the fact that Apple TV might serve as more of a hub. The hub and its protocol is the thing missing from all other iOS devices and the thing required to marry all the existing standards together like thermostats and LED bulbs. I suppose you could add that to iOS devices but it might require additional 
    You are approaching your home, and use your iPhone to send control codes to:
    1. open the garage door
    2. turn on the garage light
    3. unlock the door between the garage and the house

    Scenario 1 You do this with your iPhone how? (so far undefined by Apple). Lets say you send a cell or WiFi packet, in the clear, for each command to each accessory. The commands must be sent in the clear because your cell radio or WiFi router do not know about or understand HomeKit or its accessories.


    So a neighbor (or stalker) with a sniffer can record the radio traffic and observe the activities -- might as well leave the house key under the doormat.

    Scenario 2 You setup your AppleTV to be your HomeKit controller/server:
    1. the AppleTV communicates with the accessories (wired or short-range wireless) -- not sniffable
    2. the iPhone (acting as a HomeKit remote controller) communicates with the AppleTV over cell or

      WiFi
    3. the iPhone and AppleTV exchange algorithmically-generated tokens * that tell the AppleTV what to do
    4. the AppleTV decodes these tokens and communicates with the accessories as in 1), above


    * the algorithms can be such that a different token is generated each time to perform the same action -- rendering an intercepted token useless.


    I don't think you're answering the question by adding security to the equation. Sure that will be part of Apple's solution but what can the current Apple TV do that an iOS device cannot? The article states that a HomeKit app update is sufficient but how is that communicating with all the different home devices? Don't you need an additional hub or hardware upgrade to Apple TV to make any of your examples work? And if you don't, why can't you do the same thing with an iPhone?

    You are saying, if HomeKit requires access through a hub -- than any HomeKit controller (AppleTV or iPhone) would need to provide access through that hub.

    A "hub", as defined by HomeKit is an aggregation device -- ala the Hue Hub. HomeKit can speak "hub", but it also speaks to the individual accessories --- the individual Hue bulbs.

    AIR, in order to meet the specs of a HomeKit accessory, the individual accessories must be accessible and able to identify themselves -- bypassing any need to communicate through a hub.


    Yes, you can do everything a AppleTV HomeKit server/controller can do with an iPhone at about 6 times the cost.

    Some of the HomeKit services are triggers -- if it rains, close the windows ... To do this, the HomeKit server/controller is monitoring state and environmental changes and acting without intervention. You could do this with an iPhone if you prefer ... But that means that you'll have to leave your iPhone HomeKit server/controller at home -- while you take another iPhone phone with you while out and about.

    Finally, I suspect that most people would prefer monitoring and controlling HomeKit accessories on a large screen TV connected to an AppleTV than on a small iPhone display.
  • Reply 30 of 46
    herbapou wrote: »
    darkvader wrote: »
    What kind of lunatic raises the temperature when they go to bed?

    Yeah, I want to sweat all night.  Sounds lovely.  Not.

    Now, lowering the temp when I go to bed, that's more like it.

    Maybe they sleep naked...

    Mmm ...

    Some friends of my parents in the 1960s in Pasadena (cold nights and poorly-insulated houses) -- revealed that they slept naked -- but always were a little chilled around the shoulders ...

    Their solution was to wear matching Bolero Jackets:

    1000


    I always wondered ...
  • Reply 31 of 46

    As I've mentioned before, I would really LOVE  for Apple to make a device that incorporates a AC Wi-Fi router, an xTB hard drive, and Apple TV. Add HomeKit to this and now we're in business. I think the benefits to consumers and Apple are obvious. In case those reasons are not obvious...here's what might be a common scenario.

     

    Presently, I need a new Airport router and would like to have some sort of Apple DVR along with my Apple TV. If this can all use HomeKit to, say, start playing iTunes media or a movie or photo album from a Time Capsule when I unlock the door with my iPhone-awesome. I could even set up a mood (lighting, music, and a TV photo album or wallpaper) on the TV.

     

    The wife and I can wirelessly backup iPads, iPhones, and a Mac on ONE device. Friends and family can beam photos not only to display on the flat screen, but also to wirelessly add to a Photos app. For financial, aesthetic, and space reasons, I'd rather not have a separate Airport Time Capsule and an Apple TV.

     

    The benefit to Apple is that customers who would buy an Apple router but not an AppleTV could essentially get Apple TV baked into their Wifi routers, potentially increasing iTunes sales and commissions on AppleTV  subscriptions. The benefits of including the router and Apple TV are painfully obvious, but maybe I'm missing something here. 

  • Reply 32 of 46
    Why do you think that the Airport (or any router) is better?

    It is a difference between UI and server in my mind. Based on the "servers" I have dealt with in the past, the price point is going to be closer to $200. I also see the server as being the gateway device, rather than an endpoint in the network. Easier to make remote access work securely.
  • Reply 33 of 46
    aaarrrgggh wrote: »
    Why do you think that the Airport (or any router) is better?

    It is a difference between UI and server in my mind. Based on the "servers" I have dealt with in the past, the price point is going to be closer to $200. I also see the server as being the gateway device, rather than an endpoint in the network. Easier to make remote access work securely.

    Ahh ... I see what you are saying "I also see the server as being the gateway device, rather than an endpoint in the network. Easier to make remote access work securely."

    This may be what Apple has in mind -- they said that while out and about, the HomeKit app on your iPhone would securely communicate with the HomeKit accessories ... They didn't say how -- or communicate with what -- certainly not directly, with each accessory, in turn.

    I'll have to ruminate on the advantages of that -- good points, tho!

    I've been a proponent of an Apple Home Server with a cloud component, Where devices/files are backed up to a local server. Then, as they become less-frequently accessed these migrate up to an active cloud server then to archive servers (in the background).

    The access metadata (menus, folders, searches) remains on the local server -- so any file can be accessed, regardless of where it exists. If you access a file from the active or cloud server -- it migrates back to the local server -- as t is now active again ...

    Rinse and repeat!
  • Reply 34 of 46
    darkvader wrote: »

    So what needs to change on it?  I don't think a $99 device is going to support 4k this year, and that's about all the hardware is lacking at this point.

    Now, a new Mac mini - THAT's overdue.

    Minimal changes needed to support through 2015:

    A7 Processor [dropping 32 bit completely]
    802.11ac
    DIsplayPort 1.3/HDMI 2.0 [5k/4k]
    H.265 support
    10/100/1000 BaseT

    Raise the cost to $199 and eat some profits to grow the base.
  • Reply 35 of 46

    for what its worth i just purchased another apple TV from bricks and mortar apple store, since i wanted latest release so i can allow people to airplay when not on my (or apple tv) wifi. They give you a $25 iTunes card, so the device ended up being only $75

  • Reply 36 of 46
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,192member
    It's only natural for Apple to get deeper into the home automation and high end media center markets. I've been using Control4 for a few years and while the product is decent enough the UX is way behind what Apple can do. Plus they absolutely gouge you on iPhone and iPad integration. The activation fee for the iOS app is $400. Needless to say I will never cave to that level of abusive pricing even though the conventional remote (zig bee) eats batteries like there is no tomorrow.

    If I had to guess I could see Apple making a big play in the home theatre, home automation, home security, and home user targeted presence technology markets - very soon. I see no reason why I won't be able to use Siri, and Touch ID especially, to arm/disarm my home security system. I see no reason why Apply could not build an iOS based alarm panel for your home that has Siri and Touch ID built into it. Same goes for a next generation set top box that also has an Apple Pay reader for handling pay-per-view content from your cable, IP media, and satellite providers and maybe even home shopping network kinds of channels.

    When you look at Apple's greatest successes they often are based on products, technologies, and services that many others have attempted but failed with various degrees of futility. All of the things I've mentioned above fall into this category. Also add the sling box products. No reason the next generation AppleTV cannot replace your set top box, your sling box, your media center controller, and have tie ins and hooks to home security, home automation, home safety systems (fire, carbon monoxide, flooding, gas leak, ozone, etc.), child monitoring, elder care (activity monitoring, fall detection, etc) energy use optimization, and replenishment (fuel oil, propane, etc.).
  • Reply 37 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post





    Well, physiologically, if you let the temperature drift up as your metabolism slows your body is fine. Ideally you would give yourself a half hour to fall asleep and then let temperature slowly raise a few degrees. You might also have non sleep areas on a separate thermostat which will now be unoccupied...



    I'd wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle of sweat if it's above 70 while I'm sleeping, I try to keep it below 68 at night.  I'd rather have the bedroom at around 60 while I'm asleep, I'm perfectly ok with it dropping into the 50s if it's cold outside.  I'd like it to go up to maybe 72 about the time I wake up, then back down to 70 as I get moving.

     

    I could let non-sleep areas creep up in the summer, wouldn't be a problem at all.  I'd have to put zoning dampers in, but I've been thinking about doing that anyway.

     

    I usually only heat to 65 - 68 in the winter, drives my friends nuts, they complain about being cold at my house.  I can't handle much above 72 indoors during the day in the summer, I'd prefer cooler, but the bills get too high.

  • Reply 38 of 46

    I’ll open my windows in winter. Shorts all the way through the season. Two feet of snow on the ground? Fine, I’ll put socks on. 

     

    The 40ºs without wind is my favorite temperature range. Even colder doesn’t bother me, but my fingers start losing dexterity below about 40º and I can’t have that.

  • Reply 39 of 46
    darkvader wrote: »

    I'd wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle of sweat if it's above 70 while I'm sleeping, I try to keep it below 68 at night.  I'd rather have the bedroom at around 60 while I'm asleep, I'm perfectly ok with it dropping into the 50s if it's cold outside.  I'd like it to go up to maybe 72 about the time I wake up, then back down to 70 as I get moving.

    I could let non-sleep areas creep up in the summer, wouldn't be a problem at all.  I'd have to put zoning dampers in, but I've been thinking about doing that anyway.

    I usually only heat to 65 - 68 in the winter, drives my friends nuts, they complain about being cold at my house.  I can't handle much above 72 indoors during the day in the summer, I'd prefer cooler, but the bills get too high.

    I'd figure that Sith armor would regulate your body temperature. ????
  • Reply 40 of 46
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    I'd figure that Sith armor would regulate your body temperature. ????

     

    The extra novels (now not canon) probably say that Anakin slept in the nude or something.

     

    All right, here’s something I don’t understand. Chalk it up to the prequels being absolute garbage, of course, but still.

     

    So... we have a 25 millennia-old civilization. Quattuordecillions of people, millions of habitable worlds, FTL, fantastic technologies...

     

    AND THEY CAN’T SOLVE SIMPLE THIRD DEGREE BURNS. Skin grafts? Nope, that wouldn’t work because HEY LOOK OVER THERE. Bacta/kolto bath? Huh what are you talking about those things don’t exist ignore episode five.

     

    The suit would have made much more sense had Anakin actually fallen into the lava. You can’t come back from that, not with our tech. But with super duper sci-fi stuff? That makes a suit believable.

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