Apple iPhone home automation system for connected devices expected to debut at WWDC
Apple will allegedly unveil a new software system next month that'll convert your iPhone into a remote control of sorts for home automation, it's claimed.
The Financial Times, which has a pretty good track record, reported that Apple wants to tackle the Internet of Things, as well as rivals like Google and Samsung, by introducing a connected-home system at its Worldwide Developer Conference on 2 June in San Francisco.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report claimed that the new system, which Apple previously detailed in a November 2013 patent filing, could allow, for instance, a home’s lights to automatically switch on when the owner enters the house (using an iPhone to wirelessly signal his or her arrival).
The system would not only compete against Google's Nest Labs of internet-connected thermostats and Samsung's Smart Home range of internet-connected appliances, but it would also give consumers more reason to buy into Apple's iOS ecosystem and therefore control other compatible devices.
Unlike Samsung's Smart Home range, which only works with Samsung's Smart Home app, Apple's new system could work with internet-connected devices from a variety of manufacturers. After all, the system will presumably be a streamlined hub for controlling any compatible device for home automation.
The Financial Times said Apple is currently talking to a select group of device makers. Smart home products from those device makers will be certified to work with Apple's system. Certified devices will then be sold in Apple retail stores, similar to how accessories are now sold with the "Made for iPhone" label.
You can also expect Apple to provide additional "checks and assurances" in an attempt to keep certified products safe from hackers, especially given the controversy in regards to technology companies’ accessing personal data and cooperating with US intelligence agencies’ online surveillance programmes.
We've contacted Apple for a comment and will update when more information is known. Keep in mind that Apple often ditches WWDC plans at the last moment. Nonetheless - it is still cool to image a Jetson-style automated and connected home that is completely controlled via your iOS device.