Adding Car to HomeKit for In-App Controls and Automation

Self-confessed “home automation enthusiast” Siobhán Ellis integrated an electric car into her Apple HomeKit setup. In a blogpost (spotted by MacRumors) she explained what she did and how she did it.

After I initially wrote this blog post, I wondered if there was a HomeBridge integration into the Jaguar InControl API. InControl enables a number of things, such as remotely seeing if the car is unlocked, how much it’s charged and if it is charging. It also enables pre-conditioning, which is the warming up of the car before you travel somewhere so the batteries work at peak efficiency. As it happens, there is a plugin, called Jlr Incontrol. Installation was easy, although I must say it came up with a few warnings.

Using Open Source Software to Extend Apple’s HomeKit

Simon Bisson wrote a cool story for ZDNet. It involves using an open source tool called Homebridge that can be used to integrate smart home devices that don’t natively support HomeKit.

The plugin ecosystem is where Homebridge really excels. By having its own defined APIs, it’s possible for anyone with access to developer documentation to build a simple translation layer that links devices to HomeKit and to Home (and to Siri). Most of the plugins are on GitHub, so if you want additional features or support for alternative hardware, you can fork existing code and start to add your own features.