Focalcrest Mixtile Hub claims to bridge HomeKit, previously incompatible home automation d...

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The Consumer Electronics Show HomeKit reveals continue, with "internet of things" company Focalcrest showing its bridging solution that claims to bridge smart home devices from different brands, allowing access to Apple's HomeKit platform, and Home app.




Focalcrest claims that the newly released Mixtile Hub is able to link Apple iOS devices with compatible smart home products, surveillance devices and probe sensors using competing ZigBee and Z-Wave technologies. Focalcrest has also obtained Apple MFi certification for the device, allowing for HomeKit communication.

Using the alternate communication protocols beyond Apple's HomeKit, the Mixtile Hub is said to be able to communicate with third-party sensors, surveillance devices, and other smart home products.

Apple's HomeKit utilizes a proprietary communications solution called "HomeKit Accessory Protocol" or HAP. One implementation of HAP uses HTTP and TCP networking and utilizes the company's Bonjour discovery, with the other using Bluetooth. All HomeKit-compatible devices must have an embedded MFi authorization chip -- which the Mixtile has, allowing the bridging between otherwise incompatible protocols.

Most ZigBee and Z-Wave compatible devices have individual apps for control on iOS, but without bridging, they cannot be controlled and coordinated by Apple's Home app, nor can they be used in coordinated scenes involving multiple devices

The Mixtile hub is controlled by a quad-core H3 cortex processor with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of local storage. Connectivity is provided by Wi-Fi on the 2.4 GHz band, Bluetooth 4.0, 100-base-T Ethernet, HDMI, micro-USB and USB 2.0.

The unit is backup-battery powered, with a 2500 mAh lithium-ion battery.

Pricing and specific availability dates are not yet known. AppleInsider has reached out to Focalcrest for more information on the product, and specifically how integration with HomeKit and the Home app are implemented.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Jörg WißemannJörg Wißemann Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Sounds like a hardware HomeBridge. I wonder how this thing will be configured...
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Looks interesting and might give Wemo and some other HomeKit holdouts a way into the ecosystem. The website does look a little dodgy - San Francisco address but dreadful English. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,199administrator
    We've got guys on the floor looking at it today. We'll be back later with more.
    patchythepiratespliff monkey
  • Reply 4 of 7
    We've got guys on the floor looking at it today. We'll be back later with more.
    If it will bridge Nest products I'm in!
  • Reply 5 of 7
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 205member
    This could be the break I have been looking for.  I've been running Indigo server on a Mac mini for Z-wave and Zigbee control. but MacOS ironically has no hook into Home kit, therefore nothing on Indigo can work with HomeKit.  Indigo has an iOS client that works fine, local or remote over the Internet.  But HomeKit would be nice.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,112member
    This would be awesome. THe lack of zWave or Zigbee compatibility is a major shortcoming of HomeKit, IMO. Apple is late to the home automation game and forcing people who already have significant hardware investments to get new devices means many will choose to stay on their current platform.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    What is z wave?
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