What’s New in HomeKit 

Session 705 WWDC 2017

Learn about the new types of HomeKit accessories supported in iOS 11, new accessory setup options, and how enhancements to triggers make it possible to automatically run scenes based on who is home, only at certain times, and with more types of accessories. Understand how improvements to the HomeKit protocol greatly improve the responsiveness of HomeKit accessories. Discover how HomeKit accessory development is now open for experimentation & exploration.

[ Applause ]

Thank you.

Welcome everybody.

Good morning.

It’s early.

I hope you had your coffee.

We have a lot to talk about today.

Welcome to what’s new in HomeKit.

In iOS 11, watchOS 4 and tvvOS 11.

We have a ton of great features and enhancements we’d like to talk to you today about.

First, we will be providing an overview of HomeKit as a framework.

Second, we’re going to be talking about some of the updates and enhancements to the HomeKit framework in iOS 11.

And Praveen will be sharing some exciting news about our accessory ecosystem.

The HomeKit framework allows your apps to easily set up and control your HomeKit accessories.

HomeKit provides a central store for the configuration of your home, including rooms, accessories, automations and more.

This configuration is synchronized across all of your apps and devices.

And HomeKit is deeply integrated in iOS, Watch OS and TV OS.

You can control your accessories and scenes directly with your voice, using Siri, or using the Home app, you can control all of your accessories from any of your devices.

And with just a swipe and a tap, you can control your favorite scenes and accessories right from Control Center, and it has really never been easier for you to control your home.

And with an Apple TV or iPad as your Home Hub, you can control your accessories from just about anywhere in the world.

And we are happy to say that in addition to being a fantastic speaker, the Home Pod will also be added as a Home Hub later this year.

And with a compatible home hub, your home can be automated via time and event-based triggers.

And with over 70 accessory manufacturers, either bringing accessories to market or already have accessories on the market, the number of HomeKit accessories continues to grow month over month.

It is super exciting.

We have a number of new features to talk about in iOS 11 and today we are going to focus on event triggers.

Today, I’m happy to say that we are introducing New Events, New Conditions, support for End Events, and Recurrences.

And finally we are talking about the enhancement for Mutable Events.

But before we dive into what is new, I’d like to do a quick overview of Event Triggers.

Event Triggers center around events.

When an event fires, it activates a trigger, and you can have one or more events associated to an event trigger.

We support two different types of events today.

The first, when the state of an accessory changes, such as opening of a door, or turning on a light.

Second, we support when a device enters or leaves a geo region.

And when an event fires, and the event trigger activates, it executes one or more scenes.

And a scene is comprised of one or more actions, such as unlocking my door, or turning on my lights.

And you can gate the execution of a scene when a trigger is activated via conditions.

And we support a number of different types of conditions.

First, based on the current time.

Second, based on the current state of an accessory.

Excuse me.

And last, based on the relative time to significant events, such as sunrise and sunset.

Now, as an example, When we arrive home and we open our door, and in this case, opening the door is our event.

And after dark, this is our condition.

And it is based on a significant event of sunset.

We want to say execute our arrive home scene.

And that is an event trigger.

And we have a number of enhancements and new features for event triggers.

The first of which is support for date-based events, via HMCalendarEvent.

This provides an improved scheduling capability over HM timer triggers.

You can now take advantage of all the features of the triggers, such as conditions, and some of the other features we are going to be talking about shortly.

And we support dates based on year, month, day, and hour minute combination.

Now, as an example, let’s go ahead and create an event trigger which executes at 5:30 p.m. every day.

First, we are going to create our date component.

In this case, we are going to set two properties, the hour property to 17, indicates 5:00 p.m. Second, we are going to set the minute property to 30, and this indicates 30 minutes after 5:00 p.m. We then simply create our HMCalendarEvent, and we specify our recently created date component.

Now, we have just created an event which will fire at 5:30 every day.

We then simply create our HMEventTrigger, and we’re going to give it a friendly name.

In this case, we are going to call it Every day at 5:30 p.m., and then we specify our collection of events.

In this case, a single event, our HMCalendarEvent.

And now, in iOS 11, it is that easy to create event-based triggers based on times of the day or specific dates.

We have also added support for significant time events, via HMSignificantTimeEvent.

This activates on significant events, such as sunrise, and sunset.

And we support a relative time offset to these significant events, both positive and negative.

And this means you can schedule events to fire, say one hour after sunrise.

Now, let’s go ahead and create another event trigger.

This time, we want it to fire at sunrise every day.

There we go.

First, we create our HMSignificantTimeEvent, and we are going to specify sunrise as our significant event.

And we also specify our offset to be nil.

Now, this indicates that we want our event to fire at sunrise, not before, and not after.

We then simply create our HMEventTrigger, same as we did before, and we specify this time our sunrise event as a single firing event.

We’ve also added a convenience to iOS 11 to allow you to easily create a condition which is between two significant events, and note, that because these take significant events, they support a relative time offset.

So, for instance, I can create a condition which gates the execution of my scene from say one hour after sunset, to one hour before sunrise.

This is available on HMEventTrigger via predicate for evaluating trigger occurring between significant events.

In iOS 11, we have also added support for creating a event which executes when a characteristic value crosses a threshold value.

Now, for example, we could execute when the temperature rises above 76 degrees in our home.

We could also execute when the temperature drops below 68 degrees in our home.

And finally, we could execute when the temperature is between 68 and say 76 degrees in our home.

Now, let’s go ahead and build an example.

We want to create an event trigger which executes when the temperature in our home rises above 76 degrees.

To do this, we first create an HMNumberRange.

Now, note, HMNumberRange is what specifies our range between a minimum and maximum value.

And we have provided two convenience initializers for you to create a range within a minimum or a maximum value only.

In this case, we are providing the minimum value to be 76.

And our maximum value in this case is an arbitrary large number, let’s say it is positive infinity.

We then create our HM Characteristic Threshold Range Event.

And we specify our target characteristic.

In this case, it is a temperature characteristic, which can be a temperature sensor, or it can be a thermostat.

We then simply provide our threshold range, which was our recently created range of 76 degrees.

We then, as we’ve done before, create our HMEventTrigger, and this time, we specify our single firing event, which is our characteristic threshold range event.

There we go.

Now, the state of our homes are often tied to whether or not users are in or out of the home.

For instance, I don’t like to run my air conditioning or have lights on in my home when no one is home.

I am happy to say that in iOS 11, this is now supported via HMPresenceEvent [applause].

It is super cool.

You are going to love it.

We support a number of different types of events.

Excuse me.

There we go.

First, when the current user, that is the device that we are talking about, arrives home.

On the other hand, we can also support when the current user leaves home.

Now, these two replace, or don’t replace, but they augment HMLocationEvents, but instead of tracking a single device, they now track a user.

We’ve also added support for multiple users of the home, in fact, all users of the home.

For instance, we support when the last user leaves home.

Now note, this indicates that your home is now unoccupied.

It is a good time to do things such as turn off the lights, turn down the air conditioning, even lock the doors.

And finally, of course, we support when the first user arrives home.

And this indicates that your home is now occupied, and in this case, it may be good for you to do things like turn down the air conditioning, turn on some lights, unlock the doors.

Now, let’s go ahead and build this last example, where we create an event trigger which executes when the first user arrives home.

First, we create our HMPresenceEvent, and we are going to specify our presence type to be any user at home.

Now, this indicates that we want our event to fire when the first user arrives home.

We then, just as we have done before, create an HMEventTrigger, and we specify our single firing event, in this case, which is our presence event.

And you probably know what I am going to say, but it really is that easy in iOS 11 to create user presence based automations, and it is super cool, and we are super excited for you to try it out, and provide some enhanced features to your client, or your app users, excuse me.

Now, we didn’t stop there.

We have also added support for user presence conditions.

Now, for example, let’s say that normally we want to execute our good morning scene when we wake up, or when the sun rises.

But it doesn’t make sense for us to execute this if no one is home.

In iOS 11, you can now gate the execution of scenes based on user presence via user presence conditions.

This is available on HMEventTrigger via predicate for evaluating trigger with presence.

And note that it takes a presence event.

Now, let’s go ahead and add a presence condition to our previous sunrise event trigger and take a look at what it looks like.

First, we are going to create our significant time event, which is our sunrise event, specifying no offset, same as we did before.

We then create our HMPresenceEvent, again same as we did before, specifying any user at home.

We then create our condition via HMEventTrigger, predicate for evaluating trigger with presence, and we specify our presenceEvent.

And then we create our HMEventTrigger.

Now, this time, we are going to specify our condition as the predicate for the event trigger.

And now, and now we have just created an event trigger which will fire every day at sunrise, but will only execute the associated scenes when there is a user at home.

If you’re like me, we often want to execute a trigger, but only temporarily.

For instance, when I open my patio door at night, I want my patio light to turn on, but after say 10 minutes, I want my patio light to turn off automatically.

And this is now possible in iOS 11 via EndEvents [ Applause ]


EndEvents are available on HMEventTrigger, and they return a collection of HMEvents.

And you can update the existing events or EndEvents for an event trigger via update end events with completionHandler.

Now, we have added a new event for EndEvents.


This allows you to specify a time interval from the trigger’s execution time, at which point to end the event.

Now, on a similar note, we often want a trigger to execute only on certain days of the week, and this is now possible via Recurrences.

Recurrences are available on HMEventTrigger, and they return an optional collection of date components which specify the days of the week for which the trigger is active.

And you can update an existing event trigger with new occurrences via Update Recurrences with completionHandler.

Now, as an example, I like to get up just a little later on the weekends, as I’m sure many of you do.

So I don’t want my Good Morning Scene to automatically execute an hour after sunrise.

Instead, I’d like to use Siri to go ahead and say, “Good morning.”

So let’s go ahead and gate our previous sunrise event trigger to only execute during the week, Monday through Friday.

To do this, we create our HMSignificantTimeEvent, same as we did before.

Then we create our collection of DateComponents.

We are going to call these weekdays, then for each day of the week, Monday through Friday, we create a new DateComponent, and we specify the weekday property to be the current day of the week, then we simply add this to our weekdays collection.

And then when we create our HmeventTrigger, we specify our collection of recurrences, which are date components, as recurrences are of our EventTrigger.

And this allows us to restrict the execution of event triggers based on the day of the week.

But furthermore, we also sometimes want to create an event trigger which only executes once, and then auto disables itself.

This is now possible via Execute Once.

As an example, you may want to create an event trigger that executes tomorrow at sunset, but you don’t want it to repeat.

It is a great feature, and we are excited for you to try it out.

This is available on HMEventTrigger via the Execute Once property, and you can update an existing or new event trigger to only execute one time via update executeOnce with completionHandler.

The last, we’ve heard your feedback and we understand how difficult it currently is to update existing events on an event trigger.

Let’s take an example.

If you were building an app and updating a single event, you first had to copy the properties of that event in your application, then you had to allow the user to modify that event.

Once the user completed their changes, you had to create a brand new HMEvent with the new properties then you had to remove the existing event, via removeEvent with completionHandler.

And then add the new event via addEvent with completionHandler.

And this is a number of steps to update just one single event.

And so in iOS 11 we have made it simpler via a single method updateEvents with completionHandler.

Now this takes a collection of HMEvents which represent the new events for an event trigger.

And we have also added support for all defined HMEvents for mutable copies.

So what does this mean?

You can now simply take a mutable copy of an existing event, make any changes the user has requested, and then commit those changes via updateOnce with completionHandler.

Let’s go ahead and see an example of updating our previous sunrise event trigger to execute 30 minutes after sunrise.

First, we get our existing HMEvent.

We are going to-this will return an object of type HMSignificantTimeEvent.

We then simply create a mutableCopy, which will return an object of type HMMutableSignificantTimeEvent.

We can then update the offset of our sunrise event, by creating a new Date Component.

We specify the minute property to 30, to indicated 30 minutes after the significant event, and then simply update the offset of our mutableSunriseEvent to our new date component.

Now note, we haven’t actually changed our event trigger yet.

It will still execute at sunrise.

So move our event trigger to 30 minutes after sunrise, we simply need to call UpdateEvents, with completionHandler, providing a collection of new events.

In this case, we simply pass our single mutableSunriseEvent.

And now in iOS 11, it is that easy for your apps to update existing events on an HMEventTrigger.

We’ve covered a tone of new topics and enhancements to HMEventTriggers.

First, we have added support for new events, supporting dates.

Significant events, characteristic threshold range, and user presence.

We have added new conditions, supporting significant time ranges and user presence.

We have added support, excuse me, for end events, which allow you to specify temporary event triggers which can auto-deactivate after a specified amount of time.

We’ve added support for recurrences which allow you to specify when your event trigger will be active and finally, we have added support for mutable events for all defined event types, which makes it easier for your applications in iOS 11 to update existing HMEventTriggers.

And now, I’d like to hand it off to Praveen, to give you some exciting updates about our accessory ecosystem.


[ Applause ]

Thanks Matt.

Good morning everyone.

My name is Praveen Chegondi, and I am here to share with you new protocol features and enhancements that are in iOS 11.

I have a few exciting topics to talk about today.

I am going to be sharing some great news about what we are doing with the HomeKit accessory protocol specification.

I am also going to be talking about enhancement to the HomeKit accessory protocol.

Supportive new accessory categories in iOS 11.

Addition to the authentication process for HomeKit accessories.

And finally, we will be rounding up with improvements to the self-certification process for our MFi licensees.

Let’s start off with a quick overview of the HomeKit Accessory Protocol Specification.

The HomeKit Accessory Protocol Specification describes how a controller, which is an Apple device, communicates with an accessory, along with the security requirements.

All sessions between Apple devices and accessories over HomeKit are end-to-end encrypted and mutually authenticated.

The specification provides implementation details for both IP and Bluetooth LE accessories.

And you can also get details on how to describe each of the accessory categories that are supported in HomeKit, such as a light bulb, fan, thermostat, and many, many more.

For complete overview of the HomeKit accessory protocol, you can refer to the 2014 session, Designing Accessories for iOS and OS X.

Until now, the specification was available to MFi licensees, whose accessories carried the logo “works with Apple HomeKit” after completing self-certification.

Starting today, we are also making a version of the HomeKit Accessory Protocol Specification available to anyone with a developer license [ Applause ]


So, if you are a student developer, or even a hobbyist, and want to learn about HomeKit protocol and want to create accessories for your personal use, you can now do that [applause].

The HomeKit developer page has been updated with the specification, and also you will find other useful information, such as frequently asked questions, and guidelines to building your HomeKit apps.

Because the specification has Apple’s proprietary information, you will need to agree to a click-through license before downloading it.

And with all this information, we are looking forward to seeing what new ideas you’re going to come up with.

And let’s say you come up with a really cool prototype?

And now, you want to develop a HomeKit accessory for commercial sale.

You need to join the Apple MFi Program.

You need to join the Apple MFi Program and go through self-certification before you can begin your manufacturing or sale of your accessories.

And this is really exciting.

And I recommend that you check the developer page often for the latest updates, as we continue to introduce new features and enhancements to the Specification.

Talking about enhancements.

In iOS 11, we made some great enhancements to the HomeKit Accessory Protocol.

Now, let’s see how a user with iOS 10 sets up a HomeKit Accessory, such as a light bulb.

These of course on the accessory, by putting the light bulb in the socket, chooses the accessory from the add accessory option in the Home, and scans the eight digit setup code.

In three easy steps, the user is able to set up a HomeKit Accessory that is simple and great.

A couple of things to note in this process.

The accessory must be powered on for it to show up.

Secondly, the setup code is used for the initial HomeKit pairing only, and this is to ensure that you and only you are setting up the accessory.

For many accessories that are installed in hard to reach places, such as a light bulb, or have set up codes printed on the back of the product, it makes it difficult to scan the setup code when it is powered on.

Or even choosing an accessory when you are setting up multiple accessories of the same model becomes challenging.

In iOS 11, we are introducing enhanced set of process to further simplify accessory setup.

With the enhanced setup, users can now scan the setup code, and then power on the accessory.

To achieve this, we are enhancing the setup payload to include setup ID in addition to the setup code.

iOS 11 uses the setup ID to start the pairing process with the accessory when the setup code is scanned, and matches to the accessory when it is powered on.

It is that simple.

To deliver the enhanced setup code, we are now supporting scanning of QR codes for setting up HomeKit accessories [ Applause ]


The QR code is standards based and can be as small as 10 by 10 millimeters.

That is pretty small.

The small form factor of the QR code will help a lot of manufacturers to put the QR code on the smaller accessories, and this is really great.

But we didn’t stop there.

We took one step further, and in addition to supporting QR code, we also added support for NFC tags.

[ Applause ]

And we are really excited about this.

With NFC tags that are programmed with the Enhanced Setup Code, we can now deliver even more seamless user experience for setting up accessories.

The user needs to just tap to pair and it is that simple, and it is fantastic.

The whole experience in setting up accessories in iOS 11 with the support of QR code or NFC tag for HomeKit Accessories is just fantastic.

Now, let’s talk about Bluetooth.

Over the last few years, we have seen an influx of Bluetooth LE HomeKit Accessories.

This is because Bluetooth LE Accessories offer a lot of advantages.

They are small, they are extremely low power, and many are battery operated, such as a contact sensor, motion sensor, and many more, and users use these to trigger events when a certain action takes place.

And this is really great.

Now, let’s see how Bluetooth notifications work in iOS 10.

In iOS 10, when an accessory state changes, it triggers a state change notification.

The home of apple TV in this case picks up the state change, and then establishes a communication, a secure communication with the accessory to determine what state has changed, and then triggers the automation.

The whole process results in a few seconds of latency for the automation to be executed.

In iOS 11, we changed the mechanism completely to significantly reduce latency, and we are doing this by what we call Secure Broadcast Session to send the notification.

Here, the iOS controller configures the accessory with an encryption key, and the interested characteristics that can be included in the secure broadcast notifications.

Now, when a characteristic changes, the accessory encrypts the state change, and then sends a notification to the Home app, which will then immediately execute the automation.

With this enhancement, we are seeing a number of accessories where the latency has gone from a few seconds to under a second for the events to be triggered.

And the best part about this enhancement is that you just need to upgrade to iOS 11 and get new form ware for your accessories to ensure faster, because you don’t need to buy new products [ Applause ]


And with the new event triggers Matt talked about earlier, and with secure broadcast notifications for Bluetooth LE accessories, it’s just incredible how home automation is going to be defined now.

Coming to accessory categories.

HomeKit supports a wide range of accessory types from sensors, to cameras and many more.

Every year, we continue to add supportive new accessory categories.

This year, in iOS 11, we are now adding support for sprinklers and faucets [ Applause ]


With the support of sprinklers in HomeKit, users can now control watering the garden by Siri.

Somewhat in a similar accessory category type, which is water related, let’s talk about faucets.

For many users, it is a daily ritual to turn on the shower, let the water run, and wait for the water to turn to the right temperature before you get in the shower.

Now, while having your morning cup of coffee, you can let Siri know it’s bath time, and by the time you finish your cup of coffee, the water temperature is just right to your desired setting, and this can be achieved with the faucets accessory category.

That’s pretty neat [ Applause ]


Let’s talk about authentication now.

At Apple, security and quality is of utmost importance to us.

Our customers trust that their accessories are tested thoroughly by MFi licenses and audited by Apple.

To ensure accessories are trusted and self-certified, we have adopted hardware-based authentication.

Starting with iOS 11, we are now introducing an alternate method to authenticate HomeKit Accessories.

Now, accessories can be authenticated by software [ Applause ]


This provides a great option to enable HomeKit and shipping accessories that can be upgraded to HomeKit.

For our MFi licensees, we will be sharing more information about the implementation later.

Continuing on the topic of accessory quality, we now have new and improved process and tools to help MFi licensees access the launch of HomeKit Accessories.

We now have automated tools to test your accessory and continue to automate more and more test cases, and we urge all MFi licensees to always get the latest tools before you begin your testing.

Also, we are glad to announce that we now have two Apple authorized third-party labs here in the United States, and authorizing more third-party labs in China, and UK next month.

[ Applause ]

And this should help a lot of MFi licensees to launch the accessories sooner.

To recap the session, this year, we introduced many compelling and useful HomeKit features.

Matt talked about the great enhancements to event triggers, and introduced new APS you can adopt in your apps to redefine home automation.

I shared news about HomeKit Accessory Protocol Specifications being made available to all developers.

And enhanced accessory setup process makes it even better than what it was before.

An interruption of secure broadcast notifications for Bluetooth LE accessories will make the event triggers go faster.

And introduced new accessory categories, Sprinklers and Faucets.

And finally, we provided an update on automation tools for self-certification and authorizing third party labs around the world to accelerate the launch of HomeKit Accessories.

We at Apple are really excited about all these features, and we can’t wait to see what you are going to do with them.

A couple of important things before we close the session.

We have two HomeKit labs for you this week, where you can chat with a number of HomeKit engineers, who will be happy to answer any questions that you have with regards to your apps and/or accessories.

We will also be demonstrating some of the new features and enhancements that we just talked about that are introduced in iOS 11.

The first lab is right after this session in Technology Lab J.

Thank you very much for coming, and enjoy the rest of your conference.

[ Applause ]

See you in the lab.

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