Apple has revealed that owners of the existing 3rd-generation Apple TV can use it as a hub to allow remote control of HomeKit-compatible home appliances such as thermostats, lighting and door locks.
A new support document published today states that “if you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you’re away from home using your iOS device.”
This will come as welcome news to the millions of Apple TV 3 owners out there who won’t have to upgrade to the imminent Apple TV 4 to enjoy the benefits of HomeKit.
The help document gives some idea of the scope that HomeKit will offer when it’s controlled with an iOS device and Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.
After you pair a HomeKit device, states the document, you can use detailed Siri commands such as “set the temperature to 68” of “turn off the lights in the living room” to show off the fact you no longer have to get off your backside to adjust the thermostat or light switch.
Apple also confirms that HomeKit accessories can be grouped together in “homes, rooms and scenes”. Homes being the residence where the accessories are found, such as ‘Home’, ‘Office’ or ‘Shed’. ‘Rooms’ breaks that down further by isolating the devices into a particular room in the home such as “kitchen’ or “living room”.
Finally, “scenes” is Apple’s way of grouping together HomeKit devices that might combine to satisfy a particular user case. For instance, the Siri command “Time for bed” could shut off the lights, lock the doors and turn down the thermostat. The first HomeKit-enabled catflap is surely on its way.