From September 2019, Homekit Secure Video will be available to anyone with iOS 13 on their iPhone or iPad. But what is it? With Secure Video, Apple is changing the way security cameras deal with smart home platform Homekit.
Homekit Secure Video: what is it?
Currently, there are very few cameras that offer (good) support for Homekit . Secure Video may be able to change this. The idea behind Homekit Secure Video is that images from security cameras are extremely sensitive. This is the type of material that you should or should only share with the people you trust. And that is exactly what this service wants to do: ensure that your videos are safely stored on Apple’s servers, without additional snoops.
And by that we really mean without prying eyes. Because although the images are stored on servers at Apple, it is true that really no one, including Apple employees, can watch. After images are captured they are encrypted end-to-end. That means that in this case, only you can access those videos and photos, as well as the people you have granted access to them. Plus, you do need an iCloud subscription for this, but we’ll go into that later in this article.
An important side note about the encryption of the content is that this is done on the local device, even before it is sent to Apple’s servers. For example, Apple can ensure that no one is watching and even Apple cannot see the images, even if the police, for example, ask for it. In this case you have to think of local devices such as the Homepod , iPad or Apple TV. In addition, Homekit Secure Video can first analyze the images, so that a distinction can be made between cars, people and animals.
Which manufacturers support Homekit Secure Video?
That all sounds nice and well of course, but which products do you need for this. At the time of writing, there are not very many. But the Smart Video Doorbell from Netatmo will offer the support, for example. Later, other cameras of this brand will also be able to count on support. Furthermore, the Logitech Circle 2 will support Wired Homekit Secure Video. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear exactly which manufacturers and products will receive support.
What do you need for Homekit Secure Video?
To get this system working, you do need a number of things. First, you must have a supported camera, which can be linked to an Apple iCloud account (so you need that account too). In addition, you must ensure that you have a suitable Homekit hub in your home. If you already use Homekit at home, this is probably not a problem because you already have one. You can think of the smart speaker Homepod or the small media player Apple TV, for example.
Homekit Secure Video is basically a free service, but you must have a paid iCloud subscription to use it. For example, you need at least an iCloud subscription of 200 GB and that costs you 2.99 euros per month. You can then use one camera and look back up to ten days. The 2 TB subscription, at 9.99 euros per month, gives you access to ten days of retrospective, with up to five cameras. Good to know: the storage of the camera images is fortunately not at the expense of your iCloud storage.