Apple’s HomeKit Takes Authentication Seriously. But Does This Added Security Slow Them Down In The Smart Home Race?
HomeKit is Apple’s iOS-based framework for the smart home. The idea is that you’ll pair compatible devices like smart lights and smart thermostats with your phone, then automate everything alongside each other using standardized controls in Apple’s Home app, or by using Siri voice commands.
However, things have not gone according to the plan. One major problem includes the fact that Apple needs every HomeKit-compatible smart home device to have an MFi chipset. Popular products not having the chip are not compatible with the HomeKit ecosystem. Lack of such requirements is another reason why Google and Alexa are so popular.
Apple’s new approach to HomeKit compatibility does not need any additional hardware but lets the devices in via a firmware update. WeMo Mini smart switch from Belkin is now released. This move will grow Apple’s ecosystem. Where Amazon offers uniform device-specific protocols, Apple is big on authentication. Ecobee and August even released a new version of their product that contained the MFi chip. Other companies decided to create new hub accessories that contained the MFi chip. This will let the existing gadgets inside the HomeKit ecosystem.
Apple takes security seriously, as is evident. Each MFi chip has its own unique identifier. It is kind of like an Apple-approved key that gives you entry into the ecosystem.
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