Apple's foray into the smart home market, HomeKit, is drawing closer to market, with connected home device manufacturers receiving chips loaded with the firmware required to tie the system together.
Two chipmakers have confirmed to Forbes that they have begun shipping the Apple-certified components to device manufacturers. As part of the certification process Apple has laid out, manufacturers have to buy their Bluetooth and wi-fi chips from Apple-approved vendors.
HomeKit was first announced at Apple's WWDC in June, and will supposedly integrate control of a wide range of smart home devices into a single iOS dashboard, rather than requiring multiple apps. It will also enable control via Siri.
Apple are still finalising the protocols that will enable HomeKit to interact with multiple connected devices, meaning that the firmware within the current chips will likely have to be updated, but a number of smart home device makers have already confirmed that they will be incorporating the system into their products.
"Everyone's getting ready," said Brian Bedrosian, senior director of embedded wireless in the mobile and wireless group at Broadcom, one of the chipmakers. "Expect to see new product launches in the next cycle of product releases.
"It's been a real fragmented market for a long time. It's critical to certify the interoperability of devices and make sure everything can join to a network. One thing HomeKit provides is the bridging protocols for various devices to connect simply by wi-fi to the cloud."