HomeKit: What Is It And How Does It Work?

HomeKit: What Is It And How Does It Work?

The concept of the smart home used to be rooted only in science fiction. Now, it's a reality. But do you ever feel like you're really struggling to get the most out of your smart home? Are you having trouble becoming well-versed in the brand of smart home products that you've chosen and how they connect with each other? If you're an Apple smart home user, for example, are you finding it difficult to use HomeKit?

what is homekit

Home Is Where The Smart Is: Meet HomeKit

As a prospective smart home owner, knowing how to use a system like HomeKit is critical to making the most of all of your devices and getting the experience you seek. In this guide, we'll help you better understand:

  • What HomeKit is and how it works
  • The pros and cons of smart homes (if you're in the consideration stage)
  • Where you can get HomeKit
  • How to set it up and what devices are compatible
  • And what alternatives there are to HomeKit

If you're ready to discover the power of HomeKit in your home, let's walk through this Apple system together. 

What Is HomeKit?

Simply put, HomeKit is a smart home platform from Apple that allows users to control their Apple HomeKit products right from their smartphones. However, to leave the explanation at that would do a great disservice to what Apple has created. HomeKit doesn't just make it possible to control each of the HomeKit devices in your home, but allows you to curate experiences that are desirable to you as a homeowner. Because of the interconnected nature of HomeKit products, you can easily unlock your door, dim the lights, and turn on the TV, all with the tap of a button. 

If you're a big fan of Apple products as a whole, you're sure to love the HomeKit experience. 

how homekit works

How Does HomeKit Work?

While Apple is a company that's known for its flashy tech and complex devices, the reality is that they make it very easy for the consumer to get set up with HomeKit. 

Once you've found the HomeKit products that you want to install in your home, simply scan the QR code found on your device (or somewhere in its packaging) via the Home app, assign your products to their respective rooms once they've paired with the Home app, and begin playing around with your new devices to see how they work and how they can work with each other to help you get more from the experience.

Setting up a smart home might seem like a daunting endeavor to many, but Apple HomeKit makes it easy for anyone of any skill level to get started. 

What Can You Do With HomeKit?

Now that we have a better grasp of what HomeKit is and how it functions, you might be curious to learn exactly what this app is capable of doing once your devices have been set up. Let's take a look at a few highlights of this platform. 

  • Individual Smart Home Device Control: At the most basic level, HomeKit allows you to control all of the individual smart home devices located throughout your house. This makes basic tasks like turning on the lights, setting the thermostat, or even locking the door that much simpler. 
  • Setting Up "Scenes”: Scenes are a group of connected actions that occur at the same time. Say, for example, that you want a scene that's designed to help you sleep with ease. You may establish a scene that consists of locking all the doors, turning off the lights in your bedroom, setting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, and so on. No matter what scenes are important to you, you can use HomeKit to help your smart devices work together. 
  • Smart Home Device Automation: Beyond scenes, you can also automate certain devices so that they go on and off at certain times. If you come home from work every day at the same time, you can make sure that your house is nice and cool by telling the thermostat to come on before you get home. 

apple homekit

Overall, HomeKit gives you full control over the smart home experience, regardless of whether you want to control devices remotely, automate them, or create your own scenes. 

Pros And Cons Of Smart Homes

If you're still in the consideration phase and looking further into platforms like HomeKit, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a smart home will help you determine if you wish to pursue this further. Let's take a closer look at a few pros and cons to be aware of. 

Advantages Of Smart Homes

  • Ability to automate basic devices from anywhere.
  • Control over your home from your phone.
  • Greater energy savings.
  • Create an environment that meets your needs.
  • Notifications when something's not working properly.

Disadvantages of Smart Homes

  • If internet issues arise, it impacts the entire experience. 
  • Tech problems can lock you out of your home or cause other challenges. 
  • You can end up investing in technology that becomes outdated too quickly. 

Carefully consider the pros and cons of a smart home before you start investing in HomeKit-compatible equipment. 

Where Do I Get Homekit?

HomeKit is something that every iPhone or Apple user already has on their mobile device. If you didn't delete any apps when you first purchased and activated your iPhone, you should find a yellow icon with a house on the front that says "Home.” You can also search for it on the App store if you happened to delete it at some point in time. Then, it's just a matter of finding the right devices for your home. 

How To Set Up HomeKit 

As we described above, the HomeKit setup process is extremely simple as seen with the below steps:

  1. Download the app.
  2. Scan the QR code on your HomeKit devices.
  3. Create scenes, automations, or just access your home devices remotely whenever you need to. 

What Is HomeKit Compatible With?

Like most brands, the Apple HomeKit can only connect with specific devices on the market. That being said, not all of these devices are not only going to be Apple products. To see the full scope of products that you can integrate into your home setting, visit the comprehensive list of HomeKit products featured on Apple's website. 

How Do Homekit Devices Connect?

Most smart home owners are familiar with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Most HomeKit devices will connect to your HomeKit app via Wi-Fi, although some might use Bluetooth to get the job done. However, there's also the network protocol known as Thread. 

With Thread, all of the devices in your home "mesh" together. This protocol makes it easier for them to communicate so that scenarios like scenes are possible. Taking the time to understand how your HomeKit devices work will ensure your devices are properly set up so you don't face obstacles like poor connectivity or frequent tech problems. 

how homekit devices connect

Homekit Alternatives

Being that Apple isn't the only tech company around, it stands to reason you have some other options when it comes to creating your own smart home environment. A few other options you have to choose from include Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Alexa Smart Home, just to name a few.

amazon alexa

Become As Smart As Your Home With This HomeKit Guide

HomeKit is an excellent smart home platform for Apple users. Easy to operate and understand, offering plenty of devices to connect to, and making it so that you can use devices individually or create scenes, this is a smart home platform that's excellent for almost any user. If you're considering HomeKit or you've already purchased Apple HomeKit-compatible devices, use the guide above to get set up and start enjoying your smart home. 

However, if you’re looking for additional help with product design projects or in figuring out what exactly a hardware design company does, check out the Ovyl Blog for all your informational needs.  

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