An Apple support document describing HomeKit, the company’s Internet-of-Things developer toolkit, reveals that the set-top box will be the hub through which all of your in-home connected devices will communicate.
To use the HomeKit automation-services framework, you’ll need an iOS device running iOS 8.1 or later. But to control connected devices while outside your home—a major selling point for the Internet of Things—you’ll also need an Apple TV.
“If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you’re away from home using your iOS device,” the document says.
In order to remotely control HomeKit-connected devices, you’ll have to sign into your iOS device with the same Apple ID that you’re using on your Apple TV. You’ll then be able to route commands through the Apple TV to your connected devices using Siri.
In addition to the support document, Apple has also published a list of currently available HomeKit-enabled accessories. The relatively short list of devices includes products from Elgato, iHome, Insteon, and Lutron. Future HomeKit-enabled devices will ship with a “Works with Apple HomeKit” badge on the box.