LIFX has revealed that its smart lighting devices are now compatible with HomeKit. This includes existing LIFX products as well as the new LIFX+ and LIFX lighting products. The compatibility has been made possible through a software update. LIFX is the latest in a list of firms whose older products are now compatible with HomeKit and this has come about as a result of the restrictions that previously existed loosened.
Mid this year, Apple revealed that it would employ software-based authentication with regards to HomeKit. Previously hardware-based authentication was required by Apple and this required makers of HomeKit products to include an authentication chip which had to be approved by Apple. The hardware-authentication chip was expensive and time-consuming both for manufacturers and consumers.
Prior to the introduction of software-authentication by Apple, there were 126 product lines that were compatible with HomeKit since it was intruced three years ago. 25 of these products were described as ‘announced’ and 12 others were said to be ‘coming soon’. After hardware-authentication was dropped the number has since then risen to 139 in three months. 24 of these products are ‘announced’ while 21 are ‘coming soon’.
Among the manufacturers who have benefited from the change in authentication method include Ikea whch last month announced that its Tradfri sensors, switches and smart lights will become compatible with HomeKit later in fall after a software update is released. Earlier in the month Netatmo disclosed that a software update would be released before the year ends for its Welcome and Presence security cameras and this would make the devices compatible with HomeKit. Logitech also disclosed earlier in the month that its Circle 2 camera would get a firmware update which would make it compatible with Apple’s smart home platform.
The list of new products released that are compatible with HomeKit include smart locks and smart lights from Hue, a variety of household products from Elgato and a new doorbell and lock from August. With the hardware-based authentication restriction lifted, HomeKit is now deemed to have more potential than was previously thought as the lethargy that has been plaguing the platform has now been eliminated.