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Apple to Launch New 'Smart Home' Platform at WWDC

Apple will launch a new software platform that will let the iPhone directly control lights, security systems and other household gadgets at WWDC next week, according to a report from The Financial Times.

The piece claims Apple will make a "big play" in smart home technology by working with device makers give them official approval, like the "Made for iPhone" program does for some accessories like headphones and speaker docks, and software support in iOS 8.

Nest Thermostat
The scheme will be similar to Apple’s existing “Made for iPhone” label, given to compatible headphones, speakers and other accessories, but with a new brand and logo. Apple may also provide additional checks and assurances that certified products are not vulnerable to hackers.

The Cupertino-based company was likely to emphasise the privacy protections built into its smart home system, one person familiar with Apple’s plans told the FT, given heightened sensitivity about technology companies’ access to personal information amid revelations about US intelligence agencies’ online surveillance programmes.
The piece notes that plans can always change, but that Apple has launched a number of initiatives over the past year or two, including CarPlay and iBeacon, to expand the reach of the iPhone and have it interact more with the real world and other electronic devices in it.

Apple's retail stores sell a number of different components of the so-called "Internet of Things", including the Google-owned Nest Thermostat (pictured above), Philips Hue lightbulbs and Belkin WeMo Wi-Fi enabled light switches.

Top Rated Comments

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23 weeks ago

As a stockholder I am pretty excited about the coming WWDC.... :apple::apple:


Hate to break it to ya Mr. Stockholder, I have yet to see the stocks increase after any Apple Keynote no matter how awesome the product is.
Rating: 43 Votes
23 weeks ago
A Google shower would make you sign in to Google+, track how many times per day you shower, then sell it to advertisers.

A Facebook shower would have a camera watch you so you can share it with your friends

An Apple shower would only work with an obscure showerhead that uses a non-standard connection, would be no longer supported after 5 years, and would force you to buy a new home to upgrade.

A Linux shower would require that you first spend 40 years becoming a master plumber, carpenter, engineer, and electrician, renovate your entire house from the ground up to install it, and would not be compatible with your utility company's water.
Rating: 28 Votes
23 weeks ago
And then my house can be hacked! :eek:

They could *gulp* raise my temperature and run up my electric bill...or, or, or turn of the lights when I'm walking and I fall! ;)
Rating: 23 Votes
23 weeks ago
Good. The biggest problem with domotics today, IMO, is not the hardware, but rather the software and integration.

Each manufacturer will make you use their own app to control their hardware, making it way more complicated than it should. The simplicity that domotics may provide is partially cancelled out by the learning curve/poor integration of the software it comes with.

Apple and Google will probably both offer software that unifies all "smart home" controls inside a single app/service, which is exactly what we need. The fact those two big players will be competing also means consumers will benefit more in the end, especially since Google's solution will probably be available on iOS.

Looks like what was originally a futuristic dream (for decades) will finally catch on with mainstream consumers. I'm excited to see where this will go, and how exactly this will integrate with Apple's business model. Google will obviously collect data. Apple may just lock you further in the iOS ecosystem, making sure you keep buying their hardware and MFi accessories.
Rating: 17 Votes
23 weeks ago
As a stockholder I am pretty excited about the coming WWDC.... :apple::apple:
Rating: 16 Votes
23 weeks ago

The piece claims Apple will make a "big play" in smart home technology by working with device makers give them official approval, like the "Made for iPhone" program does for some accessories like headphones and speaker docks


You mean the Made for iPhone program that took the huge ecosystem advantage Apple had in speaker accessories and combined with Lightning completely blew it by being hard to work with and stupidly expensive?

Or the one that killed the iOS controller marketplace stone dead by mandating poor quality suppliers and making the offerings stupidly overpriced so it never got going?

This initiative is dead at birth if it's related to Made for iPhone.
Rating: 16 Votes
23 weeks ago

I'm calling it first - iHome
Btw it just capitalised correctly in iOS 7


Because this brand already exists.

http://www.ihomeaudio.com
Rating: 13 Votes
23 weeks ago
Why this story dwells exclusively on the iPhone is kind of a mystery. Doesn't iOS also run on those iPad and iPod thingies?
Rating: 9 Votes
23 weeks ago
Yikes! Here be some serious dragons.

Everyone in the industry has tried to launch the 'smart home', and all attempts have been met with absolutely no enthusiasm from consumers.

That's not to say that consumers don't want connected homes, but they're typically unwilling to replace everything in their house with a connected variant. Even when they do, they tend to focus on things with the correct size, look and price rather than it's connected platforms.

Take the most basic thing; the lights - who wants to go around and replace every lightswitch in their homes with a more expensive 'iSwitch'? Or even worse - have somebody come around to replace them for you. That's not at all desirable, and that's before you even get to the product itself - who makes it? Is it a company that make good designs which fit with peoples' homes (like IKEA), or a tech company which doesn't do any of those things (like Logitech)?

There are no shortage of systems and standards - such as Zigbee, Z-Wave, ioBridge and X10. Microsoft tried to integrate it with Windows Media Center and failed. Google tried it with Android@Home and failed.

Apple have, in the past, taken on such ground where so many had fallen and found its own way through the jungle. Can they do it again, here?

Personally, I don't think so. The real demon here is the MFI programme. If we know anything, we know that MFI adds a tremendous amount of cost to otherwise simple devices. Take the MFI Game controllers for example - I'm sure that a lot of us on here really want to play our iOS games with a real control pad, but how many have stumped up the crazy amount of cash to actually buy one?

Apple seem to be under some delusion that the MFI programme was a success in the iPod era and that it is the model which must apply to all future 3rd-party device partnerships. That's a dangerous myth.
Rating: 9 Votes
23 weeks ago

And then my house can be hacked! :eek:

They could *gulp* raise my temperature and run up my electric bill...or, or, or turn of the lights when I'm walking and I fall! ;)


And Google will make you watch an ad before you can turn on the lights.
Rating: 9 Votes

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