back to article Is Apple going ease off its HomeKit chokehold? Sure looks like it...

Apple may have finally concluded that its attempt to force people to use only its technology to control their smart-home automation equipment is doomed to failure. This week, the computing giant popped up as a member of the Google-led Thread Group, sparking speculation over whether Apple's HomeKit will support the low-power …

  1. Mayday Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I say no

    to all of this home monitoring^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H automation stuff.

    You can all (Apple, Alexa, Google Home etc) can keep your telescreens out of my house thanks.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I say no

      Personally, I've been into this home automation stuff for a couple of decades now, and my home is chock full of tiny smart devices that work in concert with each other. So I actually do greatly enjoy this stuff.

      But what I won't do is use any of this gear that IoT manufacturers are producing -- particularly the stuff the Thread group is talking about. I just don't trust any of it to be secure -- and by "secure", I don't just mean malicious hackers. Secure also means the gear doesn't communicate with anyone who isn't me or machines I personally own and control. In other words, the only spy I willingly allow in my house is myself.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: I say no

        @JohnFen

        A man after my own heart. As I age, and maintaining the systems on my off-grid homestead becomes more difficult, I've automated more and more - in my LAN - not internet - of things. Automation itself isn't a bad idea, it's putting another outfit in the middle - building in a MITM attack in essence, that's ignorant.

        What if they fail, decide to charge rent, or decide you're a Russian bot trying to toss them out of power?

        A side product is learning how to do this right, and like the mythical man-month - it's not something you solve by tossing more high paid people into the mix, it takes some failures and some experience to home in on the right level of automation, handle as many corner cases as you can, alert and perhaps wait on the human if something odd of potentially damaging is going on, and so forth.

        Worth it in the end. Why in the world would any sane person want to have all this stuff go out on the internet and back to you? The only "value added" is you don't have to write some of the code, or have your own internet presence - both of which are pretty trivial to any reasonable programmer, and in my case, totally unnecessary - it's not like there's a robot that can "adjust" my wood-fired stove from my nonexistent mobile while I'm on the road (which is basically....never).

      2. Mayday Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: I say no

        "I've been into this home automation stuff for a couple of decades now"

        I've a very cursory look into some non "Big Slurper" home automation stuff, but as I mentioned very cursory. Where's a good place to start?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I say no

          I would love to know what slurp there is from when you turn your light on....

          This slurp nonsense is getting embarrassing

          1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

            Re: I say no

            "I would love to know what slurp there is from when you turn your light on....

            "This slurp nonsense is getting embarrassing"

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/10/internet_of_things_encryption_snooping/

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: I say no

          I'm genuinely the wrong person to ask that of, as I started so long ago that my initial path is no longer viable. I started with X10 units, then hooked them all up to a computer, and that worked for a few years. Then the rather severe limitations of that started to really annoy me, and I started replacing existing X10 items with my own homebrew items or useful things I found commercially that I could bend to my whims.

          My entire setup now is a cobbled together mishmash. It is all operated over my LAN. Most things are wired now, but a sizeable minority use bluetooth and a few use WiFi directly. I even still have three X10 units still in operation.

          For me, this is a hobby, and so I'd say that you should approach it in that way. Start small, grow slow, have fun doing it.

      3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: I say no

        @JohnFen Hmm I wonder if you are using a device which Lazy Game Reviews on Youtube has been playing about with?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: I say no

          Do you mean the X10? That was my entrance to doing this, but I've moved well past that since then. Although I still do have three X10 units still in the mix.

  2. Timo

    will need hubs or gateways?

    I think you will still need at least one hub or gateway/bridge to get the IPv6 packets out of your network and into the mesh, won't you? It does help clear up compatibility concerns, and the clutter and expense of having to buy a different wireless bridge with each brand of smart home device. I bet the the HomeKit devices were more expensive to manufacture because of the chip and its licensing costs, making them either higher priced and uncompetitive, or lower margin, so would have been a deterrent to manufacturers.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: will need hubs or gateways?

      By all accounts the HomeKit stuff was secure, but it came at a extra cost, and Apple taking a few months to certify a gizmo discouraged kit makers. Also, Apple just didn't seem to be that enthusiastic about it, and hadn't put much effort into the HomeKit UI.

      The relative popularity of Alexa caught Google and Apple by surprise. It might also be that the flood of cheap and leaky IoT gadgets on the market gave the sector a bad name.

  3. Enno

    So are actually expecting to be allowed to attend their events when they find prose like "Silicon Valley's Idiot Tax operation" describing them in your articles?

    Personally I don't care, not a fan boy too many computer manufacturers, (been in the industry too long!) but I can see where they might be a little peeved.

    Just saying.

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Communicating with whatever else is already in someone's home...

    "A big plus for pretty much everyone" - can I stake my claim now to being in the small minority, please?

  5. trevorde

    Apple Strategy

    embrace, extend, extinguish

  6. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    LightwaveRF

    I use LightwaveRF for my lighting in my house. Works very well, but I fear it may all have to be replaced at some stage due to incompatibility with everything else - this is the problem with early adoption. I have a Ring doorbell. Few HikVision POE security cameras for good measure. Some VOIP phones too.

    Needless to say they don't talk to each other. Future plans include heating controls and wireless doorlocks. No reason.

    I'd like to go 'All-in' with one system but that just isn't feasible yet. These closed source systems mean if the company goes titsup, I'm fucked.

    We need another 10 years for the industry to consolidate or at least sort its shit out imho.

    1. Made-up username

      Re: LightwaveRF

      "I'd like to go 'All-in' with one system but that just isn't feasible yet. These closed source systems mean if the company goes titsup, I'm fucked."

      Isn't that the major selling point for Homekit (and the others)? That even if the manufacturer stops supporting the devices, they'll still work via Homkit and the Home app? As Apple is more likely to continue support for Homekit long into the future, it makes it a somewhat safer investment.

      I've just bought a load of Lightwave RF light switches - V2 devices are supported by Homekit, which to my mind future proofs them. You could be screwed if you have V1 devices though...

  7. IHateWearingATie
    Thumb Up

    I suspect you'll continue to feel the frosty responses while you continue to call them " Silicon Valley's idiot-tax operation".

    Still, makes me laugh. Keep going :)

  8. registerous

    I hope that Thread is a step towards native KNX support. All others are toys/insular in comparison.

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