Unlocking HomeKit security accessories via Siri on HomePod requires iOS device authentication

According to Apple’s new online user guide, unlocking HomeKit security accessories like door locks through Siri on HomePod requires authentication using Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in order to protect your privacy and security.

This is a security enhancement, not a deliberate limitation.

Siri on HomePod currently doesn’t distinguish between different voices. Without this safeguard, a thief could walk up to your front door while nobody’s home, or peer through the window in the middle of the night while you’re asleep, and ask Siri to unlock the door.

It’s understandable that this security precaution might not sit well with folks who want to use their HomePod as a hub for HomeKit control, Maybe a future HomePod software update would bring a different solution, for example, with authentication happening on your watch.

Think Auto Unlock, only for HomePod: as an example, supposed I’m wearing my watch and ask Siri on my HomePod to open the garage door or some such. The should immediately go through without further authentication because HomePod sees a trusted device (Apple Watch).

It’s also weird that HomePod does not require an iOS device for authentication when using other features like Messages, Reminders and Notes. In order to prevent other people from asking Siri to read them your messages or send messages on your behalf using an unattended HomePod, you’re encouraged to disable personal requests on HomePod.

What do you think about HomePod’s HomeKit authentication requirement?

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