Apple HomeKit Security and Automation in Use

Overall I can say I’m enjoying living with Apple HomeKit security. The installation of the HomeKit automation came about because I needed to set up some home security. A nearby house was broken into recently despite there being a policeman living just a couple of doors away. I’d been thinking about either buying a full security system, the same as used by my neighbour. Another possibility was to use a home-brewed system based upon electronics such as the Raspberry Pi. That would be the ultimate good and geeky system, but it was taking too long to set up. When following instructions on a website to install something like the MQTT server I would get so far through the instructions and part of it would not work as expected. The documentation in the instructions would usually omit any information about what to do if things didn’t go to plan. It’s far too easy to hit a roadblock like this and it takes time to work your way around and move forward. So with a time deadline approaching something had to be done. Naturally my preference for a system would be something which would work well with my Apple hardware and software. HomeKit was announced a couple of years ago and not much happened for sometime. The manufacturers didn’t come up with the HomeKit accessories and Apple didn’t have an application which would control everything. Devices started to appear eventually, but it’s only been since the Apple Home application came on the scene when things have started to move. It seems the industry needed Apple to make some sort of commitment to HomeKit. So I jumped in with two feet and bought a few Elgato Eve door and window sensors, and an Elgato Eve motion detector. I’ve been delighted with how easy it is to install Apple HomeKit security and set it up.

Apple HomeKit security

Getting notifications from my HomeKit enabled house

It’s all well and good to have a number of Apple HomeKit security sensors around the house, but these sensors have to do something. It’s not a lot of use if the sensor is triggered and it doesn’t tell anybody. It has been possible for the sensors to trigger events such as turning on Wi-Fi enabled lights such as the Philips Hue bulbs. All that would do would to make things easier so the burglar would be able to see what he was doing. Fortunately in the iOS update to version 10.2 notifications are being allowed from HomeKit accessories. I didn’t want to go to a beta version of iOS after the last time I did so it messed up my iOS device. However, I decided to give it a go with iOS 10.2 because the beta version was at number four and it would be much more stable than going with a beta version 1. So far I haven’t regretted my decision to give it a try. Notifications are coming through from my Elgato Eve Motion Detector. I was expecting to have notifications from the door and window sensors, but so far they’ve been quiet. I’m hoping that this will be remedied in the final version of iOS 10.2 when it’s finally released. Having a notification from the motion detector is going to be enough for the moment and this is how it is going to work.

HomeKit accessories for Apple HomeKit security – In operation

If somebody enters the house then they are definitely going to end up in the living room. Burglars will go to where they think the money is. The motion detector will trigger and immediately send a message to my iPad. When I see this message I can then check the Apple Home application to see if anything has happened with the door and window sensors. I’ll be able to see if the protected doors and windows are either open or closed. I’ll also be able to check the cameras and start taking pictures if necessary. If somebody who is not supposed to be in the house is there, I can then ring up the local police. I can still ring up the police if the camera is not working because it’s been disabled. The camera isn’t hidden in the living room so somebody could disable it. Hopefully I will have been quick enough to take pictures before it was disabled. I’ll be able to send pictures to the police to help them identify these burglars.

A Graph showing times door opened

If there is anything that doesn’t seem quite right with the notifications I’m getting from the Apple HomeKit security I can contact the authorities. If thieves have got into the house and closed the door behind them I’ll still be able to know if the door has been opened. I can do this from the Elgato Eve application which gives me logs of door openings and closings. It’s a silent alarm so thieves won’t necessarily know sensors have been triggered. They won’t be aware that the police are going to be arriving very soon. To test it all I suppose I could try and break into my own house, but that’s probably would mean damaging something. Otherwise the only way of testing is if thieves really do try and get in and I get to see how well the security works. I think I’m pretty well covered and at least having a policeman living right next door should make a difference. Professional thieves would probably be aware of a policeman living in the street. Opportunist and nonprofessional thieves I would expect to be sufficiently deterred by the measures I’ve put in place. Looking good with the Apple HomeKit security and I have automation in the home too.

See all the times the Sensor checked – Apple HomeKit security