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So What About Apple's TVKit & Smart Home?

Mike Wolf Apple HomeKit TVKit

One of the most interesting things about Apple's forthcoming WWDC is the news they'll finally have a third party app development platform for Apple TV. I, along with pretty much everyone else, have been waiting, and the possibility of Apple creating a TV app platform was one of the reason's I forecasted a $14 billion TV app market back in 2013.

But one thing about this news that's particularly interesting to me in 2015: What do third party apps combined with a smart-home control point in Apple TV mean?

Here are a couple quick thoughts:

  • I think this gives those diving into HomeKit ecosystem another opportunity to create a consumer-facing interface. I've written about the critical nature of Apple TV to HomeKit for the last year or more, as it provides a fixed control point (or hub, if you want to call it that) when mobile iOS devices are not to be found. 
  • TV optimized smart home apps can be truly differentiated vs. mobile phone/tablet centric apps. Think of a smart doorbell app that's organically integrated with your streaming experience - someone rings the doorbell, the show pauses and you get a live view of who is at the door - sounds like a no brainer to me.
  • I'm not sure if this will be a reality at the outset, but I can imagine a persistent connection to the HomeKit device database - which is, let's be honest, one of the big values HomeKit brings to a disaggregated market - through Apple TV could enable consistent and stable smart home experiences even in the chance the broadband connection goes down. The reality is while lots of HomeKit will rely on cloud-to-cloud integration, a local HomeKit device database would be extremely valuable.

Bottom line, Apple TV will be a big part of the HomeKit/Apple smart home story. TVKit makes it even more intriguing. 

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