Rumour: Apple Working on Home Automation Features for iPhone

The Financial Times is reporting that Apple are once again working to integrate Smart Home technology into the iPhone.

The FT reports that Apple will make a “Big Play” in the smart home tech world at their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next month.

Apple already has a raft of relevant tech at their disposal.  Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, CarPlay and iBeacon plus rumours that the next iPhone will also feature near-field communication (NFC).

With millions of homes already having Apple’s iOS iPhone / iPad touchscreens, WiFi access points, Apple TV’s and cloud services, many of the components for a home automation system are already in place. It seems a natural progression for the company to move into the smart home market.

Apple is readying a new software platform that would turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances, as part of a move into the “internet of things”.

Apple stores already sell smart home hardware like the Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue, but until now these have been disjointed ‘islands’ with companies like Revolv trying to work around the issue by creating multi-system hubs.

In this new system it is rumoured that vendors will be able to offer certified compatible hardware similar to the existing ‘Made for iPhone’ program, perhaps guaranteeing a level of interoperability.  In addition these certified units could offer more security, something that’s becoming more of an issue as smart home systems become more sophisticated

RELATED: Apple iBeacons Explained – Smart Home Occupancy Sensing Solved?

While we don’t agree with the FT’s premise that “the smart home market is still in its very early days”, we do concur with their thoughts on Apple entering this space.  Their ‘just works’ ethos, emphasis on design and particularly user experience, coupled with their existing user-base and huge industry sway may just be the ideal ingredients to make the smart home main stream.

What do you think an Apple Home Automation system could do for the industry?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Financial Times  (paywall)  :

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3 Comments on "Rumour: Apple Working on Home Automation Features for iPhone"

  1. Apple will never go open platform and incorporate Z-Wave or any other systems so in my view this might well stimulate the market in general but will be detrimental to the exciting HA story already under way.

  2. Dave McLaughlin | May 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm |

    You can bet that any protocol will be closed as this is the standard Apple way. Most likely won’t talk to Android devices either. 🙂

  3. Look forward to the jailbroken version of the apple home… then it might become functional.

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