The Apple TV set top box could someday become central to Apple’s smart home plans, judging by a new software beta released to developers on Tuesday.
The latest Apple TV beta features support for Apple’s HomeKit platform, opening the door for all connected devices around the home to be eventually controlled via the hockey puck-shaped device.
Integration with HomeKit, launched as a smart home hub for iOS 8, would allow the Apple TV serve as a remote access peer to control connected accessories such as door and window locks, smart lights and thermostats, when users are away from home.
According to AppleInsider, Apple’s system will plan for the remote access peer with the lowest latency in order to carry out those commands, which could be sent from an iPhone or iPad back to the Apple TV at home.
The Apple TV’s prominent position within the entertainment centre would also allow users to control the connected devices from the comfort of their armchair, thanks to HomeKit integration.
However, the report speculates that a new iteration of the Apple TV hardware would likely be required in order for this new functionality to be opened up. The Apple TV is long over due a refresh and plenty of updates have been rumoured in recent months.
For example, a microphone-enabled Apple TV could see Siri integration put to good use. Users could inform the Apple TV they wish to turn off lights, lock doors or adjust the temperature using voice commands, should Apple device to go down that route.
Is the next Apple TV update the one that turns the ‘hobby project’ in to one of the most important on Apple’s talent roster? Let us know your thoughts below.
Read more: Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV