Apple has made parts of the source code of its HomeKit Accessory Development Kit available under an open source license and put it on GitHub. Apple is also putting its HomeKit Accessory Protocol forward in the newly formed Project Connected Home working group.
According to Apple, developers can use the open source adk for HomeKit to create non-commercial smart home accessories, such as for prototyping and home use. Commercial accessories with HomeKit support will still require users to purchase a paid license as part of Apple’s MFI program.
Apple’s move is part of the company’s entry into Project Connected Home over IP. This alliance of Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance, among others, should lead to an open standard for smart home connectivity. Apple contributes, among other things, with its HomeKit Accessory Protocol, which should help ensure that the upcoming standard offers compatibility. Apple also promises that existing HomeKit accessories will continue to function when the new protocol becomes available.