Apple's HomeKit MFi program only began in November, chips still being finalized

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
Manufacturers of "connected home" devices that wish to integrate with HomeKit reportedly could not begin seeking certification for those products under Apple's MFi program until November, some six months after the initiative was announced.




Adding to the delay, chipmaker Broadcom --?long a supplier of authentication processors for Apple's MFi programs --?has yet to finalize the software for its HomeKit chips and has been working to enable HomeKit on previous-generation silicon, according to Re/code. Apple is said to have waited until October to supply Broadcom with its specifications.

Apple is believed to be taking only a "rather modest" cut from the HomeKit MFi program, in contrast to previous efforts. Some third-party manufacturers have complained about Apple's licensing fees in the past, with the approximately $20-per-device AirPlay overhead a particularly troublesome item.

The company lowered fees for Lighntning accessories early last year, moving from a percentage of compatible products' retail price to a flat $4 per-connector cost. There is no word on what costs companies will incur for HomeKit.

"Like AirPlay, Apple wants very tight tolerances to deliver what they believe to be the best experience," Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead told the publication. "On one hand, the slower time to market is annoying, but given the fact that AirPlay works well and everyone knows it, it make sense. Apple is trying to 'fix' what a plethora of companies haven't gotten right, yet."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    I'm waiting patiently Apple. No hurry.... Take you time....

    Do'h... no I cannot wait, can't stand it,hurry up apple, Im starting to buy non- approved products.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    STANDARDIZATION and COMMITMENT are two big factors in many Apple rollouts involving other companies in which own their and their products' reputations are up for the trial by extension.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,961member

    I would rather Apple take its time to get it right, than to do what everyone else does and just throw crappy products out there and wait for a "firmware update" to resolve what should have been in place to begin with.



    I love AirPlay.  Last thing Apple would want is for anything to come in and make it a PC experience where nothing works right.

  • Reply 4 of 15
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,691member

    OK, I have a serious question about how this is supposed to work:

     

    I have a stairway in my home that has simple incandescent/LED fixtures. It is controlled by a 3 way house wiring system, in that one switch at the bottom of the stairs can control the lights on/off independent of the position of the upstairs switch. The upstairs switch functions identically. It think this kind of thing is common, and I have another similar set up involving lights in a room - the ceiling lights have a switch by the door, and another by the bed.

     

    Without changing that functionality, I'd like to add some sort of remote control via iPhone or mobile device. It seems as if the standalone bulbs that are now being offered can't work - once installed, they would need to be manipulated by the remote device only. For obvious reasons, this is unacceptable. The remote must always defer to activation/deactivation by the switch on the wall. But, I see no way around it with current offerings.

     

    For a single light in a single switch box, the Wemo wall switch is perfect. But they do not have a three-way product, nor or that can bee added to a multiple switch box. It also appears they are not intending to develop one.

     

    It seems that a lot of this "connected home" is very niche applications; or requires essentially new home strategic design. It doesn't appear to be much "plug and play" kind of stuff - either in existence or even planned.

  • Reply 5 of 15
    eightzero wrote: »
    OK, I have a serious question about how this is supposed to work:

    I have a stairway in my home that has simple incandescent/LED fixtures. It is controlled by a 3 way house wiring system, in that one switch at the bottom of the stairs can control the lights on/off independent of the position of the upstairs switch. The upstairs switch functions identically. It think this kind of thing is common, and I have another similar set up involving lights in a room - the ceiling lights have a switch by the door, and another by the bed.

    Without changing that functionality, I'd like to add some sort of remote control via iPhone or mobile device. It seems as if the standalone bulbs that are now being offered can't work - once installed, they would need to be manipulated by the remote device only. For obvious reasons, this is unacceptable. The remote must always defer to activation/deactivation by the switch on the wall. But, I see no way around it with current offerings.

    For a single light in a single switch box, the Wemo wall switch is perfect. But they do not have a three-way product, nor or that can bee added to a multiple switch box. It also appears they are not intending to develop one.

    It seems that a lot of this "connected home" is very niche applications; or requires essentially new home strategic design. It doesn't appear to be much "plug and play" kind of stuff - either in existence or even planned.
    I use Insteon devices, Universal Devices ISY 994i Pro, and MobiLinc (for the iDevice Control), and it's very doable. I don't know if a similar approach could be done with Wemo devices, but easy to accomplish with the equipment I am using. I have converted some three way lights to accomplish the job, and with the ISY controller can give additional functionality. You can pretty much do anything you can think of with this setup. For example a single push of the entry room's on/off switch to 'on' position will turn an outdoor porch light on. If I press 'on', a second time, within 3 seconds, all outdoor lights which lead from the entry to the driveway will come on - that includes pathway lights, lights around the courtyard, lights on the garage and light posts along the driveway. A single press 'off' will turn everything off. I arbitrarily chose 3 seconds, but could be however you programmed.

    See http://homeautomationguru.com/wiring-3-way-insteon-switches/ for one way to accomplish.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    eightzero wrote: »
    OK, I have a serious question about how this is supposed to work:

    I have a stairway in my home that has simple incandescent/LED fixtures. It is controlled by a 3 way house wiring system, in that one switch at the bottom of the stairs can control the lights on/off independent of the position of the upstairs switch. The upstairs switch functions identically. It think this kind of thing is common, and I have another similar set up involving lights in a room - the ceiling lights have a switch by the door, and another by the bed.

    Without changing that functionality, I'd like to add some sort of remote control via iPhone or mobile device. It seems as if the standalone bulbs that are now being offered can't work - once installed, they would need to be manipulated by the remote device only. For obvious reasons, this is unacceptable. The remote must always defer to activation/deactivation by the switch on the wall. But, I see no way around it with current offerings.

    For a single light in a single switch box, the Wemo wall switch is perfect. But they do not have a three-way product, nor or that can bee added to a multiple switch box. It also appears they are not intending to develop one.

    It seems that a lot of this "connected home" is very niche applications; or requires essentially new home strategic design. It doesn't appear to be much "plug and play" kind of stuff - either in existence or even planned.

    The hue Phillips bulb work like regular bulb, and you can control them with your iPhone as long as the switch on the wall is ON

    There are easy plug in.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    "The company...moving from a [B]percentage of compatible products[/B] retail price to a flat $4 per-connector cost."
    I thought Apple had a problem with that(emphasis) argument. :no:
  • Reply 8 of 15
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael_C View Post

     
    You can pretty much do anything you can think of with this setup. 


    I need to do a lot of research on HomeKit. I'm starting a new home towards the end of the year and I want to rough in the right wiring for all the latest home automation. I know I made a few mistakes on my current home with respect to both plumbing and wiring. This next home is going to be quite a bit more complicated as we are using city power as well as solar along with a generator for back up.

  • Reply 9 of 15
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,691member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael_C View Post





    I use Insteon devices, Universal Devices ISY 994i Pro, and MobiLinc (for the iDevice Control), and it's very doable. I don't know if a similar approach could be done with Wemo devices, but easy to accomplish with the equipment I am using. I have converted some three way lights to accomplish the job, and with the ISY controller can give additional functionality. You can pretty much do anything you can think of with this setup. For example a single push of the entry room's on/off switch to 'on' position will turn an outdoor porch light on. If I press 'on', a second time, within 3 seconds, all outdoor lights which lead from the entry to the driveway will come on - that includes pathway lights, lights around the courtyard, lights on the garage and light posts along the driveway. A single press 'off' will turn everything off. I arbitrarily chose 3 seconds, but could be however you programmed.



    See http://homeautomationguru.com/wiring-3-way-insteon-switches/ for one way to accomplish.



    Thanks. My takeaway is that this is hardly a plug-and-play type arrangement. Seems more like a do it your selfer kind of project. Spiffy for sure, and it's cool you got it to work for you in your application. But it isn't for me. I think I need to just wait for the Wemo line to produce a wider line of useable modules.

     

    On that note...imagine a simple lamp on a table. Again, how is this supposed to work? The Wemo wall module has a switch on it for manual control, but what good is that? Chase the wire back to the wall to control it? Yeesh. 

  • Reply 10 of 15
    Given the trouble that GE Link has in setting up (my personal experience and others from what I've read) I can understand why Apple want's it to just work in a real life house.
    Yes it eventually works and the software UI is simple enough, but actual setup and linking is a pain in the a**, so is the lack of range.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    eightzero wrote: »

    Thanks. My takeaway is that this is hardly a plug-and-play type arrangement. Seems more like a do it your selfer kind of project. Spiffy for sure, and it's cool you got it to work for you in your application. But it isn't for me. I think I need to just wait for the Wemo line to produce a wider line of useable modules.

    On that note...imagine a simple lamp on a table. Again, how is this supposed to work? The Wemo wall module has a switch on it for manual control, but what good is that? Chase the wire back to the wall to control it? Yeesh. 
    You're correct about plug and play and the ISY 994 controller, to some degree. A lot depends on how sophisticated you're trying to be, but I can definitely understand the desire to avoid creation of programs. I had purchased a Revolv hub, last fall, as it's goal was flexibility and ease of use and the potential to support numerous devices - I.e., Zwave, Zigbee, Insteon, etc.. This all went away when Google purchased Revolv (30 days later) and halted development which essentially "froze" the hardware's design. I'm glad Amazon refunded the purchase without hesitation even though I was a couple days past the return period.

    I preferred buying a device like Revolv which did all the heavy lifting, where I didn't have to invest time to figure out another programming environment. After the Revolv situation, I wanted to have more control over the situation where I could do what I wanted even if the company went away - but, this wasn't my preference. In my case, I relied on a program I wrote in the ISY 994 controller - however, I believe you can accomplish the behavior you want just with the switches - no programming needed. Wemo might have equivalent capability, but since I only have familiarity with Insteon I'll reference their products.

    Let's say the 3 way switch at the bottom of the stairs is the one connected to power, and the switch at the top of the stairs is connected to the light. You'd make the wiring change (per http://homeautomationguru.com/wiring-3-way-insteon-switches/) which would provide un-switched power to the switch at the top of the stairs. Then you'd install the new switches - the switch at the bottom of the stairs would not be connected to the light, so would have to be connected to the light by sending command to the switch at the top of the stairs. Insteon allows you to link their devices () - so, in this example, you'd link the switch at the bottom of the stairs to the one at the top of the stairs. Once this is done, pressing the switch at the bottom of the stairs will send a command to the switch at the top of the stairs and this switch would turn on the light.

    I don't know if you have any Wemo devices, but will pass on why I went with Insteon - the most important reason for me, which won't apply to most, is it's dual band mesh approach allows my controlling devices in our orchard which is over 1000 foot from the controller. I had originally thought of going with ZWave devices, but they don't have the range of the Insteon. The second reason I went with Insteon is how easily it lets you link devices together - I have lights in a gazebo where it was inconvenient to place a light switch at the entry. I am using an Insteon Mini 4 scene Remote at the entrance linked to the light switch. It talks directly to the light switch - no need for the Insteon hub or ISY controller. It also lets me control 3 other sets of devices - one of the remote's buttons is set to control the outdoor lighting scene, and another can control the entrance gate. I have found though I usually have either an iPhone or iPad with me, so control everything via the iDevice. This could be another option for you - mount a remote, or go with something like the Insteon 2487S KeypadLinc Control Keypad - which would allow you to control the stair light and 4 other sets of devices - no programming needed. Again, Wemo might have a similar set of products and functionality.

    Hope this makes sense :~}
  • Reply 12 of 15

    I just did a search on the forum for SmartHome.com and saw this pdf which outlines how to handle a 3 way circuit with the Insteon KeypadLinc - see the section on Using KeypadLinc in Virtual Multi-Way Circuits - the diagram on page 9 gives a good visual.

  • Reply 13 of 15
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I need to do a lot of research on HomeKit. I'm starting a new home towards the end of the year and I want to rough in the right wiring for all the latest home automation. I know I made a few mistakes on my current home with respect to both plumbing and wiring. This next home is going to be quite a bit more complicated as we are using city power as well as solar along with a generator for back up.


     

    I doubt the solar and backup generator will ripple any complications to the home automation efforts - I don't know if your county requirements are different from ours in the S.F. bay area, but we did our solar connections through a backfeed breaker - I would suspect this approach, or something similar would be how yours would be done as well - while the backup generator will add some complexity with the Main, neither should impact the home automation side.

    I believe it will take a while before the dust settles in the home automation field.  My primary concern when I added devices, last fall, was to ensure I didn't close out my options.  I had settled on using Insteon devices, so called them and asked about HomeKit support - and, they were very open with their plans and indicated their current devices would work fine as they were going to put the HomeKit support in the hub.  I don't mind if I have to swap out a controller or hub, but wouldn't want to find the switches and outlets wouldn't work with the new schemes (like HomeKit).  The cost of the hubs or controllers is a small part of the total home automation costs, and could be swapped out pretty quickly if there was some advantage.

    If I were about to build, I'd contact the company you were thinking of using (i.e., Insteon's, Zigbee's, Wink, etc) to make sure there wasn't anything on the horizon that would alter the way things would be wired.  Plus, I'd ask if there would be another class of devices supporting HomeKit which offered an advantage to existing ones. Many of the solutions I have heard/read put the HomeKit support in the hub, and maintain compatibility with existing devices.

     

    You might want to look at this CNet article - among other things talked about in the article, the next Insteon hub will support HomeKit and be able to control other mfg's devices (to some degree) - I won't get the same HomeKit support with the ISY controller, as the developers of the ISY controller I'm using, had said they didn't plan on supporting it.  My guess, though, is if there is something compelling that motivates me to swap out the ISY controller for an Insteon hub, then it will be compelling enough for the ISY to support HomeKit.

     

    We are in interesting times.

  • Reply 14 of 15
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael_C View Post

     
    I doubt the solar and backup generator will ripple any complications to the home automation efforts - I don't know if your county requirements are different from ours in the S.F. bay area, but we did our solar connections through a backfeed breaker - I would suspect this approach, or something similar would be how yours would be done as well - while the backup generator will add some complexity with the Main, neither should impact the home automation side.


    The new home will be in Panama. There are very few regulations there. You just need friends in the building department to get stuff approved /s. Some of the issues I am trying to overcome are the high electric rates and the unreliability of the electric service, hence the solar and generator. I want to have the option of city power but would rather rely primarily on solar.

     

    I know nothing about home automation but I want to make sure, as you said, that I don't limit my options, during the initial construction phase. Security is another big issue that I need to address. Lighting, locks, cameras, alarms, etc. We have the basic house plans done but there are no mechanicals yet so I need to get my act together on home automation pretty soon as the building season starts in November and only lasts about three - four months. You need to get the roof on before it starts raining.

     

    My current house in Panama is really old although I built my California house only about eight years ago which is where I am now. I go back and forth depending on the season.

  • Reply 15 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    The new home will be in Panama. There are very few regulations there. You just need friends in the building department to get stuff approved /s. Some of the issues I am trying to overcome are the high electric rates and the unreliability of the electric service, hence the solar and generator. I want to have the option of city power but would rather rely primarily on solar.

     

    I know nothing about home automation but I want to make sure, as you said, that I don't limit my options, during the initial construction phase. Security is another big issue that I need to address. Lighting, locks, cameras, alarms, etc. We have the basic house plans done but there are no mechanicals yet so I need to get my act together on home automation pretty soon as the building season starts in November and only lasts about three - four months. You need to get the roof on before it starts raining.

     

    My current house in Panama is really old although I built my California house only about eight years ago which is where I am now. I go back and forth depending on the season.


    I think the forums for SmartHome.com would be worth checking out.  One thing I would verify before adding cameras is the bandwidth you'd have available in Panama.  That would impact the camera resolution you'd select, possibly # cameras, as well as how you'd want to use them.  

     

     I don't know how far out the farthest device will be located, but it may be worth asking the device mfgs (Insteon, Wemo, Zwave (GE), etc)., if anything extra needs to be done to improve reliability in the area you'll be using them.  One of the benefits of Insteon devices, and why I chose to go with them, is their use of two communication methods to extend their network.  

    - RF signal, 

    - And, communications across the wires

     

    I am relying on the communications via the wires to extend the network.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to do all the things I am doing.  ZWave was my original choice, but it only relies on communications over the air ( uses RF as well) - doable, but would require more devices to act solely as repeaters.

     

    Depending on the quality of the electricity (e.g., noise),  the Insteon may not offer any extra benefit over other communication approaches - just passing on the thought - I've been impressed with their performance, but they may not perform as well where you want to use them.

Sign In or Register to comment.