Request: Make HomeKit truly smart with AI features

Apple has been reported to be working on making iOS 18 the biggest update in years, and I… I argued that this needs to be done using artificial intelligence.

In particular, I would like to see Apple bring artificial intelligence capabilities to HomeKit. That is, to make Apple's smart home ecosystem truly smart …

The term AI has been used to refer to all kinds of nonsense for many years, but I think it was ChatGPT, Midjourney and Photoshop's generative features that demonstrated what a truly smart system looks like. And I'd love to see Apple bring that kind of intelligence to HomeKit.

For me, perhaps the most important defining factor of the next generation of AI systems is that I only need to tell them what I want #8217; #8217;what I'm trying to achieve and let the system take care of how to get there.

I rely a lot on HomeKit scenes and creating them can be quite tedious, especially since you may need to include many more accessories than you might expect.

For example, I have a HomeKit scene that I launch when I go to bed. This turns on dim lighting in the bedroom, but also turns off all other light sources. Since I may have been in different rooms using different combinations of lights and lamps, in this scene it was necessary to explicitly turn off anything that might have been on in other rooms. This turns a simple scene configuration into a verbose one.

Some visual examples

One simple next step is is that, instead of manually checking to see if every other light is off, I could simply tell it to turn on the low lights in the bedroom and turn off all the other lights – without having to explicitly add them all to the list. scene.

But a real AI approach would be if I could communicate my intent to HomeKit and have it figure out what it takes to achieve it.

For example, just tell Siri I want the living room temperature set to 68F and let it figure out what heating or cooling devices might be needed to achieve that goal.

Or I can come home at night. I currently have the Home app set up so that when I unlock the smart lock, it turns on the hallway lights. But the artificial intelligence system will track my movements around the house and determine what kind of lighting I need. For example, it should know that when I get to the living room, I need to turn on the Living Room Relaxing scene and turn off the hall lights.

Now that Matter support has arrived in home appliances, what if I could load laundry into the washing machine and have HomeKit use presence detection to wait for everyone to leave the house to automatically start the machine when there's no one around to bother noise? ? Or perhaps everyone is in other areas of the house.

Watering the lawn may not be prompted by a set time, but rather by recent weather to determine when the soil may be in danger of drying out.

Security features can be just as smart. For example, if a smart front door lock unlocks without presence detection recognizing the arrival of a family member, it should alert me.

How about recognizing that water is flowing through pipes but faucets or appliances are not turned on, and alerting you to a potential water leak?

Or see the room temperature rising for no apparent reason and alert me to a potential smoldering fire? To do this, you may need to check your thermostat setting to see if this is due to the heating response; weather to see if sunlight will penetrate the windows; and blind positions to see if they let that light and heat through.

AI beyond HomeKit

As I recently noted, Apple has been using artificial intelligence features in its products for over a decade. But now it's time to pick up the pace.

Whatever we think of Siri these days, it was Apple that turned the intelligent assistant into a mainstream product back in 2011 , with the release of the iPhone 4S over a decade ago.

Apple has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence-powered computational photography technologies, starting with Portrait mode in the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 […]

But there's no denying that AI capabilities have taken huge leaps since then, [and] however Apple decides to embrace these new types of capabilities, iOS 18 seems to be about time.

I'm highlighting HomeKit here, but Macworld's Dan Moren points out possibilities even in mundane products like Numbers.

Being able to look at my budget spreadsheet and simply say, “Show me how much I spent on streaming services in the last twelve months” saves me the time of creating a complicated formula.

Do you have your own ideas about how Apple could make iOS 18 smarter, either in HomeKit or in other apps? Share them in the comments.

Photo: R Architecture/Unsplash

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