Apple has published an open-source version of its HomeKit Accessory Development Kit to allow more users to experiment with the development of HomeKit accessories.
Apple’s release is intended to accelerate the development of a new universal smart home standard that will be the result of a working group announced on Wednesday that will develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet.
Apple has joined with Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance (which includes companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian) to create a new universal smart home standard.
Apple on Wednesday posted to GitHub portions of their HomeKit Accessory Development Kit (ADK), which are tools used by vendors and accessory makers to build HomeKit-compatible devices. Apple announced the move on its developer webpage.
HomeKit and the Home app use innovative privacy technologies and techniques to help minimize the amount of data anyone — including Apple — can access as well as powerful security features that protect personal information. By open-sourcing its HomeKit technology, Apple will be helping to jump-start the initiative and ultimately deliver an even better experience to customers.
The HomeKit Open Source ADK can be used by anyone to prototype smart home devices. Accessory manufacturers can use the open-source ADK to test their products before formally joining Apple’s HomeKit MFi program. Companies planning to sell HomeKit-compatible accessories must still use the commercial version of the kit supplied by the Apple MFi program.
Existing HomeKit accessories will continue to work after the new protocol becomes available since Apple plans to continue to support HAP for communication with smart home accessories in its ecosystem.
For more information about the project and how to participate, visit www.connectedhomeip.com.
To access the HomeKit Open Source ADK, visit www.github.com/apple/HomeKitADK.