HomeKit geofencing may soon gain pinpoint accuracy


Works with Homekit
HomeKit accessories could know to group themselves together based on exactly where they are.
Photo: Apple

Instead of you having to tell your HomeKit devices that they should work together, Apple wants its home-automation system to know when items are close to each other. The goal is to greatly simplify both setup and daily usage of HomeKit gear.

With the current version of HomeKit, the user creates a “scene,” then manually adds accessories to that scene. Anyone with lots of HomeKit-enabled products in multiple rooms will tell you that this process is cumbersome.

HomeKit setups happen automagically

Under a system described in a patent application titled “Using In-Home Location Awareness,” the computer doing the HomeKit setup would be able to tell what compatible devices are nearby judging from the strength of their wireless signals, whether Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular.

These judgments could even be made on the fly. Someone standing in the dark could order any nearby lamp to turn on without worrying about exactly which fixture it is.

Just remember that patents don’t always turn into products. While Apple is undoubtedly exploring this idea, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will ever become part of HomeKit.

Interested in home automation the Apple way? Don’t miss our list of the most exciting new HomeKit devices coming in 2019.