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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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8 weeks ago

Sounds like I don't care


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

revolutionary.


Nope. Magical.
Rating: 7 Votes
8 weeks ago
Sounds like I don't care
Rating: 6 Votes
8 weeks ago
revolutionary.
Rating: 5 Votes
8 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
8 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
8 weeks ago
I really do hope there's a "Wow" factor at WWDC.
Rating: 4 Votes
8 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
8 weeks ago
Dead in the water if it's iOS only

There are other products and WILL be other products that can and will do the same that will work with any phone, Android and iOS

What would be the point in a control system for the home that will only work whilst you buy iPhones?

And for the countries around the world which have a tiny iOS market share, virtually no sales at all.

Apple can't be THAT stupid can they ?

That would be like trying to sell an Apple TV that you had to use an iPhone for a remote control and nothing else would work. It would be even more limited than it is now.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 weeks ago
With something as big as Home automation you can't do it all at once. This is just the first step of Apple home automation. Wait for it people. Cool stuff will come in the future. Even Apple can't create all hardware (lighting, appliances, etc) at once. Sigh... people are so impatient and clueless. :(
Rating: 3 Votes

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