Latest Apple TV update enables remote access relay for HomeKit connected accessories

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2014
The center of a connected smart home could soon be the Apple TV, as Apple's latest beta software officially brings HomeKit support to its $99 streaming set-top box.

The new boss: same as the old boss?


As first discovered by AppleInsider, Apple's own notes for Apple TV Software beta 2 released on Tuesday note that the pre-release build "includes support for Family Sharing and can be used for testing AirPlay and HomeKit with your iOS apps." Apple had acknowledged as much in one prerelease version of the Apple TV operating system, but appeared to remove the functionality when released last month.

In other previous beta releases, HomeKit support was included, but Apple did not acknowledge that support was baked in to the Apple TV operating system.

With HomeKit's public return to the Apple TV, one iOS developer on the internal Apple development forums has detailed how the system works. Logging into iCloud on an Apple TV will register the set-top box as a potential remote access peer for the HomeKit application programming interface.

Once the user accepts using their Apple TV as a remote access peer, information from their connected home will automatically be synced with the TV accessory. This is made possible because HomeKit uses CloudKit to store home and accessory info in the cloud, while Keychain is used to store paired keys, the developer said.




Serving as a remote access peer will enable the Apple TV to help control connected accessories when they are away from home. When a user is accessing their smart home remotely, Apple's system reportedly scans available remote access peers and searches for the one with the lowest latency.

HomeKit support in the Apple TV is yet another sign that the company's streaming set-top box is likely to become Apple's official hub for a connected home. AppleInsider first predicted in June that Apple wouldn't likely begin selling "iLight" or "iLock" products, instead leaving those efforts to third-party developers and hardware makers.

Of course, HomeKit support in the Apple TV paves the way for future models to expand further upon this functionality. For example, a new microphone-equipped Apple TV with always-on "Hey Siri" support could be used to turn off the lights downstairs and raise the temperature when you go to bed, playing nicely with a wide range of different smart-home accessory makers.

The Apple TV is long overdue for an update, last having seen a minor, silent hardware refresh in January of 2013 with a redesigned CPU. The hardware is essentially the same as the model released in March 2012.

Apple is expected to hold a media event next Thursday, Oct. 16 to unveil new hardware. While next-generation iPads with Touch ID and an iMac with Retina display are expected to appear, recent reports have suggested the Apple TV may not see an update until 2015. It's been said that Apple remains held up by talks with cable companies and content owners as it attempts to bring more media to the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Of course, HomeKit support in the Apple TV paves the way for future models to expand further upon this functionality. For example, a new microphone-equipped Apple TV with always-on "Hey Siri" support could be used to turn off the lights downstairs and raise the temperature when you go to bed, playing nicely with a wide range of different smart-home accessory makers.

    Now we need Star Trek style lapel pins to enable the "Hey Siri" functionality wherever we walk around at home. Each will be tagged with it's user info so HomeKit knows who is making the request and can respond accordingly. This could be done by the iPhone/iPad initially, but many people, like myself, don't tend to always carry their iDevice once they're home (goes onto charging station, etc).

     

    Nitpicky ... change "raise the temperature" to "adjust the temperature" as one could be either raising or lowering the temp when one goes to bed depending on geography and time of the year :P

  • Reply 2 of 43
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Interesting. Anybody know if Apple knocked down the "temporary" building in which they hosted the iPhone 6 / Apple Watch demos? If not, then maybe they'll be putting simulated living rooms in it for the iPad "Air 2" demo (and possible Home Kit demo) this month.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    namotnamot Posts: 3member
    Quote:


    "This could be done by the iPhone/iPad initially, but many people, like myself, don't tend to always carry their iDevice once they're home (goes onto charging station, etc)."


     

    Therefore you have to buy Apple Watch :)

  • Reply 4 of 43
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Too bad Apple didn't just buy a cable company or create its own content like Netflix and Amazon. Blu Rays don't even give out free ITunes copies anymore - it's all Ultra Violet.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    namot wrote: »
    Therefore you have to buy Apple Watch :)

    Apple Watch tells Apple Time- Apple Time says recharge my battery?
  • Reply 6 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member

    Please add iBeacon support as well. 

  • Reply 7 of 43
    hmurchison wrote: »
    Please add iBeacon support as well. 

    AIR, AppleTV has BLE ... So it's doable ...

    But, what would you use it for?
  • Reply 8 of 43
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    Interesting. Anybody know if Apple knocked down the "temporary" building in which they hosted the iPhone 6 / Apple Watch demos? If not, then maybe they'll be putting simulated living rooms in it for the iPad "Air 2" demo (and possible Home Kit demo) this month.

    That was the Flint Center. Apple's event this month is happening at Apple's headquarters.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,664member
    hmurchison wrote: »
    Please add iBeacon support as well. 

    It read this as iBacon. I'm hungry now.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    AIR, AppleTV has BLE ... So it's doable ...



    But, what would you use it for?

    It would be more incentive for me to place Apple TV in every room where there's a compatible display and it would provide better indoor location. 

  • Reply 11 of 43
    This little self-contained, hockey-puck-size device is coming into its own:
    [LIST=1]
    [*] Access to your home theater content
    [*] Portable, ad hoc WiFi connection to on-location TVs for presos
    [*] Now, remote monitoring and control hub for home kit accessories
    [*]
    [*]
    [/LIST]

    I suspect that the AppleTV / HomeKit offering could easily be expanded to provide similar function for a small business (or department within a larger business).

    Then, a new AppleTV, with an A8X APU, more RAM, 11.ac, etc. could be a fantastic gaming console.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,154member
    It is amazing how fast developers update the general public with their Non Disclosure protected latest updates. :no:
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by namot View Post

     

     

    Therefore you have to buy Apple Watch :)




    That could well be their vision. I'd prefer when it doesn't depend on the iPhone, which may be a couple revisions down the road. But the iLapelPin or iCuffLink could be a small and really low power device that connects via BLE to an AppleTV or other device in the home that allows the Hey Siri functionality. I guess it would need some sort of way to acknowledge your request was received and responded to (speaker, tactic feedback, etc). It will certainly be interesting to see how all this evolves.

  • Reply 14 of 43
    pennywsepennywse Posts: 155member
    Updated Apple TV inbound, no doubt. Another one of those great products Schiller keeps talking about.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    I have time Warner cable in Southern California, they are having a new channel line-up starting on October 16th. Now this could be coincidence, but what if Apple announces a new Apple TV and some sort of contract thru time warner for programming, with out the actual need for cable, as in streamed channel line-up for a price over whomever your internet provider is currently. Paid via iTunes to twc or direct to twc, and apple gets some small share.
  • Reply 16 of 43



    And UV really has a poor user experience. I did notice quite a few movies feature the 'GET IT IN UV' copy, and then a small bit of copy that says "also available on iTunes". Some say the opposite and honestly I just don't buy them. I have a dozen films in my UV library but the interface and other issues makes them worthless.

  • Reply 17 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    It read this as iBacon. I'm hungry now.

    iApplewood LOL 

     

    Never a bad time to think about how bacon can improve your condition. 

  • Reply 18 of 43
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Too bad Apple didn't just buy a cable company or create its own content like Netflix and Amazon. Blu Rays don't even give out free ITunes copies anymore - it's all Ultra Violet.

     

    You never fail, eh? Always trolling, never on topic. This is about Homekit. How fucking difficult is it to comment on the subject matter, or not comment at all, instead of just coming into threads to say something negative about something else entirely? 

  • Reply 19 of 43
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,292member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

     



    That could well be their vision. I'd prefer when it doesn't depend on the iPhone, which may be a couple revisions down the road. But the iLapelPin or iCuffLink could be a small and really low power device that connects via BLE to an AppleTV or other device in the home that allows the Hey Siri functionality. I guess it would need some sort of way to acknowledge your request was received and responded to (speaker, tactic feedback, etc). It will certainly be interesting to see how all this evolves.


    It will. Remember that Apple Watch will actually be in your own home most of the time. BLE has some range issues, but here's a nice start. If Apple Watch can tie into Apple TV too, and make use of its Wifi (and phone calls over wifi?) you get Apple Watch functions without iPhone in your pocket. I rather expect to see an update to Airport Extreme and Express along these lines too.

     

    This smart home stuff is easily overdone, as so much relies on the implementation in the home. Houses designed from the start will be the easiest to configure, and of course the most capable. But my house doesn't have a central HVAC. I really don't see a $200-$300 keyless front door being a huge value.

  • Reply 20 of 43
    adybadyb Posts: 183member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Too bad Apple didn't just buy a cable company or create its own content like Netflix and Amazon. Blu Rays don't even give out free ITunes copies anymore - it's all Ultra Violet.

    A little off topic but I detest Ultra Violet copies. For me, the iTunes copies were far more flexible!
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