HomeKit w/o an iOS Password

Looking to set some home automation for my parents…parents who refuse passwords on their devices.
Searching for a creative way to set them up for automation w/o any passwords on their devices.

One thought…I set up a new home on my own account and get it connected to an iPod mini. Plug the mini in at their home, get it connected to their internet and I manage their home network remotely. This all seems quite doable. …however looking for input in advance …anyone else doing something similar?

How far away from you physically? I mean, if you have to go there a few times a week to do things that can’t be done remotely, is that feasible or a deal breaker?

The last time I tried something like this (granted, it was several years ago), I created a special AppleID account to be the owner of the iPad and the owner of the HomeKit configuration then invited myself and the actual homeowners are “guests” of the HomeKit configuration.

It worked for a while, but limitations on what can be done remotely and severe limitations when Apple forced 2FA for everything, meant that sooner or later a relogin prompt requiring signing in again with 2FA made it unworkable.

There might be a way to do it now, but my guess is that it would be even harder. I saw it as a black hole “science experiment” and went on to other solutions not requiring HomeKit.

Curious if anyone has actually solved this in a workable way?

Also, Apple has dropped allowing an iPad to be used as a HomeKit hub, so you’ll need an AppleTV or HomePod onsite even if not “used” by your parents. AppleTV is preferable as hardwired Ethernet is crucial for the device that is providing remote access (you can’t remote in if the Wi-Fi is down), yet running an AppleTV “headless” is not a supported configuration and you don’t want to be rebooting your parent’s TV randomly (as one needs to do with HomeKit) and interfere with what they might be watching.

What about an AppleTV in a closet with the smallest possible HDMI screen you can find?

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Looking to use HomeKit to automate outdoor lighting, a solution I find MUCH better than light sensors etc. Yes, I do have a special apple ID account for them. That said once I have one of their devices setup for HomeKit as the hub, apple forces the passcode (or am I misremembering?)

If I set up a new home (their home) on my account, which had the iPod mini connected, couldn’t I then plugi it in at their house, give it wifi and job done? It would be my account using a different wifi?

No real plans to remote in - more of a set and forget. I do see them often enough where if something breaks I can fix on sight.

It that is the primary use, HomeKit is overkill and really too much trouble. For a “set it and forget it” automation like that, I would use smart lighting or smart controls that have their own scheduling and automation built-in.

Many brands of smartplugs or dimmers have that level of automation built-in.

Typically, outdoor lighting is either individually controlled by switches indoors, or by a transformer box in the garage. In both cases, you aren’t dealing with needing outdoor rated gear and the only challenge is being within range of the wireless comms method that you choose to use.

  1. Yes, for anyone looking to get a remote automated home for people who refuse passwords, this works.

  2. Yes, overkill I thought too until they learned of the speaker … they love the speaker now.

@SpivR, yes true. I have done many over the years, though the photo sensor eventually burn out and the on/off functions stagger. Now the lights are synchronized, nice touch. I see more of their lighting getting added to the network over the next year.

Actually see them wanting to use the iPhone Siri capabilities at some point they will ask me about it…at which point I expect they will need to get comfortable w/passwords.