Inside iOS 11: HomeKit gains multi-person geofencing, conditional triggers

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
With iOS 11, Apple has enabled more complexity in the triggers for HomeKit scenes and events, making them adaptable to a wider variety of circumstances -- such as only turning off the lights in your home when everyone has left.




Editor's note: This article was originally published in June while iOS 11 was in beta. It has been updated and republished for the final, public release of iOS 11.

The central shift is support for conditional triggers -- a simple example being that if a lighting scene is set to run when someone returns home, it can be limited to running after dark. A cooling scene might run only when someone is home and a certain temperature is hit.

This links with another addition, multi-person geofencing, to make HomeKit much more suitable for couples and families. Previously location-based scenes were tied to a single device and, in essence, one person.




In iOS 11, scenes can be set to run only when one person comes or goes, or when everyone in the same HomeKit group does -- naturally, this assumes everyone has an Apple mobile device. Air conditioning for instance can remain on until the last person leaves the house, and resume when the first person returns. Forgetful family members might have the lights turn on and off in their room without affecting anyone else.

Apple has also added relative time offsets, which can trigger actions before or after an event. Window blinds might open 30 minutes after sunrise, say, while lights might come on an hour before sunset. Along similar lines, there are also "end" events -- opening a sensor-equipped door to the basement could trigger a ceiling fan, but then have the fan turn off after a fixed amount of time.

In fact people will finally be able to create one-time events, as well as ones linked to specific dates and times. This should be useful for holidays or going on vacation.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Great news.

    Hopefully they've finally added irrigation (aka sprinkler systems) to Homekit as well.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 438member
    I was very excited about geofencing and location-based reminders, but so far they've turned out to be pretty useless for my circumstances.

    A typical reminder would go something like, "remind me to go over paperwork when I get home," and the geofence would set within 50 yards or so of my building. Except I live on the 11th floor, and by the time I get up there, the reminder has come and gone.

    Geofencing needs to start taking things like "device connects to home/office wifi network" in order to become useful to many circumstances.
    SendMcjakjdgazmizhoubonobob
  • Reply 3 of 26
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,622member
    awesome. relative time offsets were definitely needed.
    jbdragonbwh1248
  • Reply 4 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    This gives me up that the HomePod and next Apple TV will support multiple users.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,038member
    I don't see why there aren't "when connected/disconnected to wifi" triggers. For me that would be much more accurate and battery friendly than a geofence in terms of determining when you're home.
    SoliStrangeDayspatchythepiratejony0douglas baileyjdgaz
  • Reply 6 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    slurpy said:
    I don't see why there aren't "when connected/disconnected to wifi" triggers. For me that would be much more accurate and battery friendly than a geofence in terms of determining when you're home.
    I've wondered the same thing.

    I use my Amazon Echo for my alarm, but that's "just in case" I sleep in, which is rare. I'm usually out of the house long before the alarm will sound. What I'd like to eventually see is a smart home that will know to cancel the alarm if I'm out of the house instead of just going off for however long it goes off for, or at least send my phone or watch a notification saying something like, "It looks like you're out and about. Would you like me to cancel today's alarm?"
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 7 of 26
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    Great news.

    Hopefully they've finally added irrigation (aka sprinkler systems) to Homekit as well.
    Like "Wife" mode: water the plants?
  • Reply 8 of 26
    mgfrmgfr Posts: 5member
    Slightly out of topic but I can't refrain ! Try to find Grenfell tower, London (fire in London) on Maps !! You get London Tower ! On Google Maps, Grenfell Tower is instantly brought to you. 250 billon$ disposable...
  • Reply 9 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    mgfr said:
    Slightly out of topic but I can't refrain ! Try to find Grenfell tower, London (fire in London) on Maps !! You get London Tower ! On Google Maps, Grenfell Tower is instantly brought to you. 250 billon$ disposable…
    It jumped to the correct location for me.


    watto_cobrabshank2old4funlkrupp
  • Reply 10 of 26
    mgfrmgfr Posts: 5member
  • Reply 11 of 26
    HomeKit is so damn fun to use. These new additions are going to be great.

    It makes things so easy. In addition to my Phillips lights, I just installed my own ceiling fixture light, and all I had to do was plug it into an outlet in my attic along with a homekit smart outlet and it works perfectly. Also, every once in a while a drunk person from a nearby bar will walk up to my front door, and when I get the motion notification from my doorbell it's always funny to watch their confused looks when they trigger the motion sensor on my porch for the the inner foyer light (set to white light during the day/evening, red light after 11pm). N.B. If you're using the Phillips motion sensor, you may want to cover the ambient light sensor so the light will still trigger even in daylight.

    There have been some frustrations, like those pieces of sh_t at Schlage never updating their app to work with the iPhone 7, also lack of some key hardware (e.g. very limited smoke alarm selection, lack of compatible garage doors). I guess that's why Apple is loosening the requirements somewhat, to open the door for more competition, which should give HomeKit another nice boost.
    edited June 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    They will write books about experimenting with the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W using Xcode and Swift Playgrounds now
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 13 of 26
    mgfr said:
    Slightly out of topic but I can't refrain ! Try to find Grenfell tower, London (fire in London) on Maps !! You get London Tower ! On Google Maps, Grenfell Tower is instantly brought to you. 250 billon$ disposable...
    Slightly out of topic?! This thread is about HomeKit not Maps.  I'm not even sure how you can conflate the two other than that they're both made by Apple.  FWIW, I get the same result as Soli using Maps on iOS and macOS (iOS even gives me a warning that there are road closures in the area due to a fire).

    Back on to the actual topic at hand, I think these are all great additions, especially the multiple-user geofencing.  I can't tell you how many times my wife has complained of lights turning off when I left the house so, hopefully, this will improve that situation.  I'm also looking forward to time off-sets.

    Does anyone have any experience with HomeKit enable blinds?  I have several Lutron dimmers and switches and have looked into their Serena line of shades but they seem ridiculously expensive.  I currently only need one for a relatively small, basement window.  When I priced it out on their website it came to about $474 (battery powered, room darkening) for a window that is only 31" x 12".  Our house has plenty of custom window treatments and, for the size, this is by far the most expensive window we will have done to date if we go with Serena.


    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    Great news.

    Hopefully they've finally added irrigation (aka sprinkler systems) to Homekit as well.
    From the article: "Apple announced a number of other HomeKit-related items at last week's WWDC, including software-based authentication, faucet and sprinkler support, and the ability to experiment with HomeKit without first getting an Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad license."

    My initial thought upon seeing "sprinkler support" was in-ground sprinkler systems, or irrigation.  I didn't realize that wasn't supported in the past as I believe there are already HomeKit enabled controllers for such.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 26
    mgfr said:
    Look what I get : 

    Why you write, 'Londres'?
    What happens if you write, 'London'?

    PS. You are WAY off topic.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 26
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 105member
    mgfr said:
    Slightly out of topic but I can't refrain ! Try to find Grenfell tower, London (fire in London) on Maps !! You get London Tower ! On Google Maps, Grenfell Tower is instantly brought to you. 250 billon$ disposable...
    Hmm. Just tried it on iOS 11 and it brought me right there and gave a traffic warning for Grenfell Rd.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 26
    I want iBeacons in different rooms so the lights can turn on and off only when I'm in those rooms.
    bshanktofino
  • Reply 18 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    I have a question on HomeKit to l you experts here.  I ditched the Nest and installed an ecobee 3 with satellite sensors  and couldn't be happier.  It has, I knew at purchase, HomeKit capabilities and not knowing the first thing about this or how to use it only last week tried it out.  I was asked to hold my iPhone's camera in front of the main ecobee unit and they did their thing.  Now I can say 'good morning' to 'good night' to Siri on that phone and viola my comfort settings for those two time settings kick in and over ride the schedule.  Very neat and idiot proof for me to use.  I also read there are a ton of other things I can say but haven't really delved yet.  It won't open the garage door I did try that ;). Oh by the way, Siri always answers those 'Good nights' in a totally new intonation I've never heard before with various comments added like sleep tight.  Really cute.

    Here's the thing though, I was at Tampa airpots a few days ago and out of boredom waiting for an arrival tried to see if I could talk to my Ecobee  from there.  I was told I couldn't by Siri.  I could access via the app.  So is the Siri HomeKit connection only available when on the LAN or have I yet to set something up here?  Remember I'm a Mac guy and iOS is a mystery to me. :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    runt888runt888 Posts: 3member
    MacPro said:
    I have a question on HomeKit to l you experts here.  I ditched the Nest and installed an ecobee 3 with satellite sensors  and couldn't be happier.  It has, I knew at purchase, HomeKit capabilities and not knowing the first thing about this or how to use it only last week tried it out.  I was asked to hold my iPhone's camera in front of the main ecobee unit and they did their thing.  Now I can say 'good morning' to 'good night' to Siri on that phone and viola my comfort settings for those two time settings kick in and over ride the schedule.  Very neat and idiot proof for me to use.  I also read there are a ton of other things I can say but haven't really delved yet.  It won't open the garage door I did try that ;). Oh by the way, Siri always answers those 'Good nights' in a totally new intonation I've never heard before with various comments added like sleep tight.  Really cute.

    Here's the thing though, I was at Tampa airpots a few days ago and out of boredom waiting for an arrival tried to see if I could talk to my Ecobee  from there.  I was told I couldn't by Siri.  I could access via the app.  So is the Siri HomeKit connection only available when on the LAN or have I yet to set something up here?  Remember I'm a Mac guy and iOS is a mystery to me. :)
    I believe you need to have an Apple TV in order to connect to HomeKit away from your home network.
    watto_cobrastompy
  • Reply 20 of 26
    You need an Apple TV (4th gen for full support) or an iPad that stays at home and so can be enabled as the HomeKit gateway device. 
Sign In or Register to comment.