Custom ID chip is key to Apple’s HomeKit

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Our house of tomorrow is going to have to wait.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s HomeKit connected devices are rolling out slower than expected, and one reason for this is that Apple reportedly requires that anyone making a third-party HomeKit device buy and use a special identity chip — a fact that caught many devs unawares.

“I know a lot of people who have been surprised by this requirement and had to re-spin boards for the chip,” said Michael Anderson, chief scientist of engineering firm PTR Group during a recent talk. “A lot of manufacturers are up in arms [about the] Apple silicon [that makes their] device more expensive.”

We’ve previously reported on the fact that Apple insists on cutting-edge security protocols for Bluetooth LE devices. This is said to be stopping the availability of more devices due to the lag caused by the processing demands of generating and sending the necessary security keys.

 

As far as the ID chip goes, it’s unknown at what stage Apple added it to HomeKit requirements, although we’ve known for some time that Apple insists developers buy their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips from Apple-approved chipmakers. It’s also not known what exactly the HomeKit ID chip does, but it is thought that it relates to accessing the cloud, as well as triggers for geo-location.

Overall, Michael Anderson said, “there’s not a lot known about HomeKit since it was first launched in iOS 8 because Apple’s got it under wraps.”

We trust that Apple knows what it’s doing when it comes to rolling out new products — but with so many other companies looking to establish themselves as dominant Internet of Things entities, we’d hate to see Apple lag behind because it’s making too many demands on developers.

Source: EE Times