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Apple's 'Smart Home' Initiative Focused on 'Made for iPhone' Certification, Not Deep Integration

Earlier this week, a report suggested Apple has plans to unveil a new smart home initiative at WWDC. This platform would allow the iPhone to directly control lights, security systems, and other household gadgets, with Apple giving third-party device makers official approval for integrated devices.

Gigaom has some new information on how the smart home program will work, confirming that it is a fairly simple program that will certify both connected devices already on the market and upcoming devices under the existing "Made for iPhone" certification process currently used for iOS accessories like iPhone cables and gaming controllers.

mfi_logo
The program will not include an Apple-made software interface that overrides the existing apps tied to current iOS-compatible home accessories like the Philips Hue lighting system or the Nest thermometer, and will instead focus on connecting devices via WiFi. There's also the possibility for voice control using Bluetooth.

The MFi certification will essentially be used to notify consumers about which products will integrate well both with the iPhone and with other home automation accessories, suggesting the program introduced next week will feature several home automation product manufacturers that have agreed to work with the MFi standards for quality and compatibility.
Instead of worrying about hubs and what might work with other devices, consumers can look for the MFi label and be assured that they can pull their smart home setup together -- and control it from their iOS device.

It's technically possible that the user could control some device functions from a handset or tablet without opening the app, or that the app would open automatically based on a voice command or eventually through presence detection.
Apple is expected to unveil more information on its smart home initiative on Monday, when WWDC kicks off with an opening keynote.

Top Rated Comments

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18 weeks ago

Sounds like I don't care


You cared enough to click on the article and respond.
Rating: 9 Votes
18 weeks ago

revolutionary.


Nope. Magical.
Rating: 7 Votes
18 weeks ago
Sounds like I don't care
Rating: 6 Votes
18 weeks ago
revolutionary.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago
I was hoping for a newsstand or passbook style app where you will find a one stop app for all your home automation to function from. Rather than turning everything off on 10 different apps when you leave, you can just flick a switch like airplane mode and power everything off.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago
Seems like a bit of a yawn. I was hoping that Apple would actually develop hardware like the Nest etc...

Love my Nest and Protect. Fadell is onto something there. Let's hope he keeps up the innovation with some new products.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks ago
I really do hope there's a "Wow" factor at WWDC.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks ago
i can understand when "Made for iPhone" certification is used for something that is unique to iPhone (for example something with lightning port or a phone case). Home automation devices need to use something like WiFi, BT or better yet a specialized protocol like zigbee or z-wave. If they use it, then they will work not just with iPhones but also with Android phones and with just about everything out there. Unless Apple will require the certified devices to somehow rely on Apple ID it is going to be "Made for iPhone, works with everything".
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks ago

i can understand when "Made for iPhone" certification is used for something that is unique to iPhone (for example something with lightning port or a phone case). Home automation devices need to use something like WiFi, BT or better yet a specialized protocol like zigbee or z-wave. If they use it, then they will work not just with iPhones but also with Android phones and with just about everything out there. Unless Apple will require the certified devices to somehow rely on Apple ID it is going to be "Made for iPhone, works with everything".


There are plenty of devices that work for Android, WP, and iOS that have the MFi certification. MFi doesn't place any restrictions on the usage of other devices, it just means that when an iOS device is used it is certified to function properly.
Rating: 3 Votes
18 weeks ago
So it's basically a marketing and compatibility initiative? Yawn...
Rating: 3 Votes

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