Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220360748) for an “integrated accessory control user interface.” It hints at increased features in HomeKit, as well as possible smart home accessories including a surveillance camera from the tech giant.
About the patent filing
HomeKit is the software framework by Apple that lets users configure, communicate with, and control smart-home appliances using Apple devices. It provides users with a way to automatically discover such devices and configure them.
The new patent filing generally involves accessory control systems and, in particular, an integrated accessory control system that can include real-time viewing of video from an IP camera. Apple says that one category of electronic devices that’s becoming more popular includes various electronically controllable devices, such as thermostats, lighting devices, home security devices, etc. The company wants to help users “control these devices easily and conveniently using mobile devices and the like and to automate their operation.”
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “An integrated accessory control system can integrate functionality (services) of multiple disparate accessories and provide a unified user interface for interacting with the system via a controller device. An integrated accessory control system can include one accessory that can detect an event or action and send a notification to the controller device and at least one other accessory, such as an Internet Protocol (IP) camera, that can be operated in response to the notification.
“In response to the notification, a controller device can generate an integrated user interface for interacting with the accessories in the integrated accessory control system. The interface can include a live feed from the IP camera, which can provide a media stream responsive to instructions from the controller.”