HomeKit Remote Siri Control Requires Apple TV

One of the benefits of Apple's HomeKit platform will be the ability to remotely control your smarthome devices from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Using Siri voice commands to turn things on or off when you're away from home, however, will require an Apple TV.

Apple TV is about to be part of your smart homeApple TV is about to be part of your smart home

Apple promised Siri voice control as part of HomeKit, and even demonstrated the feature when it first showed off the platform. That'll work just fine when your iPhone or iPad is on the same WiFi network as your smarthome gear, but it isn't an option away from home unless you have a third generation Apple TV to act as a bridge.

Apple TV's role in HomeKit has been suspected ever since a software update added references to the platform into the streaming media's code. With developers telling The Verge they have to rely on Apple TV to get remote voice commands back to their products, it's all but confirmed.

That doesn't, however, mean you'll need an Apple TV to turn lights on remotely, or that Apple TV is destined to be a full-on smarthome device management hub. Instead, it looks like Apple has simply chosen its streaming media device to act as the go-between for your home network and Siri on the go. It also doesn't prevent developers from using their own apps to remotely control smarthome devices.

Despite the limited functionality we'll see from Apple TV's HomeKit integration initially, it's possible the company has bigger plans in store that we don't know about yet. Apple is notoriously quite about future product plans, and has a history of starting small with its feature sets and expanding over time.

This could be Apple slowly ramping up to full-on control over our homes, or a case where the company is releasing a platform it plans to support in a limited way while leaving it up to third-party developers to make or break its smart device automation dreams.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]