Beginning with the iPhone 11, the Apple smartphones contain a U1 chip enabling ultra-wideband (UWB). This allows the phones to have “spatial awareness”. This allows your iPhone 11 or newer to figure out its location in relation to other U1 chips. One developer has demonstrated that if Apple would only allow HomeKit and the U1 chip to work together, your smart home could be really brilliant.
Point and Click Your Lights On and Off
Imagine being able to point your iPhone at a light, and see it turn on without you saying its name. That’s exactly what iOS developer Bastian Andelefski has accomplished. He created a smart home remote app that uses the HomeKit and the U1 chip to control his house.
With this app, he can point at a HomeKit device and the controls for that smart home accessory show up automatically. There’s no more trying to figure out how to word a Siri shortcut to adjust your lights or set a scene.
For Now, a HomeKit and U1 Chip App Is Out of Reach
Andelefski has developed the app, and demonstrated its usefulness. Unfortunately, there’s a serious roadblock to bringing this amazing smart home remote control app to life. Currently, there aren’t any HomeKit device manufacturers incorporating the U1 chip.
You’ve got one in your iPhone, as well as your AirTag or HomePod. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow third-party app developers access to those devices’ U1 chips. To develop and test his app, Andelefski had to purchase an expensive (and large) U1 development kit.
Apple Could Help the U1 Chip Work with HomeKit
Andelefski has stressed that there are a number of ways his smart home remote control could come to you, the consumer. He’s pleading with smart home accessory manufacturers to reach out to him for a partnership.
Even better, Apple could help the U1 chip work with HomeKit. By integrating the technology within Andelefski’s app directly into iOS, these brilliant location-aware remote controls could live right in your Control Center. Even opening access to the U1 chip within the AirTag and HomePod would help bring this dream app to life.