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Smart home devices and apps have tried to simplify our lives--and sometimes they even succeed. Using voice commands, we can now turn off the lights, make sure the garage is shut, adjust the temperature, and lots more. As convenient as voice can be, it's not always perfect or reliable.

Developers are now trying to integrate Augmented Reality into smart home controls, as another option to make these devices more functional. Instead of just making it look like your favorite superhero is in your living room, AR for the smart home is creating new levels of accessibility.

Apple released the ARKit 2.0 in mid-2018 and some developers struggled to find uses for it. LinkDesk, however, created the Homekit app for Apple's Homekit. LinkDesk has used ARKit to create virtual buttons to control HomeKit devices.

SEE: Apple wants to use AR to connect ride-sharing customers with their drivers

Any Apple Homekit device can pair with LinkDesk's Homekit app. In the app's device viewfinder window, simply point your iPhone at the Homekit product. For example, if you have a smart lamp, tap the lamp in the viewfinder window.

The app will show you how many smart lamps are paired with Homekit, as well as any other devices. Any appliance that you have connected to Homekit will display as an icon in the viewfinder. For example, tapping the lamp icon would turn your smart lamp on or off.

Besides being able to manage your home devices with more ease, ARKit 2.0 could mean more independence for disabled users and elderly users living alone. The user's family might rest easier knowing that their loved one can lock the front door and run their home more easily and safely.

The Homekit app can control individual products in your Apple Homekit and group them for ease of use. For example, users can create a group that adjusts the temperature, turns on a light, and also turns on a fan at the press of a single button.

Of course, users could previously control devices through Apple Home or with Siri Shortcuts, but the original app didn't have AR capabilities.

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  1. With the release of ARKit 2.0, LinkDesk created the Homekit app to let users control their smart home devices with virtual buttons.
  2. The app could make it possible for more elderly or disabled people to maintain their independence.

Also see

Top 5 ways AR is good for customers (TechRepublic)

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.