With an open source version of the HomeKit Accessory Development Kit (ADK), Apple is opening its own HomeKit standard a little further to increase its distribution. The opening will only take place shortly after the announcement that Amazon and Google will work on an open smart home standard.
Apple then gives the reason for the open source version of the HomeKit Accessory Development Kit as the goal of accelerating the development of the new open standard. Apple will make its HomeKit Accesory Protocol (HAP) available to the working group on the open standard “Connected Home over IP”, in which Ikea and Signify are involved in addition to Amazon, Google and Zigbee. The now published open source ADK is accessible via GitHub.
For private, non-commercial use only
With the free, free version of the ADK, anyone can develop non-commercial accessories for HomeKit and design HomeKit devices for personal use. Commercial manufacturers of smart home devices with HomeKit support, on the other hand, can use it to test products using prototypes before joining the paid HomeKit or Made-for-iPhone (MFi) program, which is also a time-consuming step to market the products after a successful test. Apple specifically states that commercial users must continue to purchase the commercial version of the ADK.
Apple’s guidelines slow down HomeKit distribution
In the past, numerous manufacturers have opted out of HomeKit support because Apple sets high standards if you want to support the standard with your own products. Initially, Apple required its own chip for authentication in the smart home devices, which not only increased the costs, but also significantly increased the effort. Only last year, Apple made it possible to implement the HomeKit standard purely in software, so that devices that are already on the market can subsequently support the standard via software updates. So far, these obstacles have stood in the way of the spread of HomeKit.